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U.S. Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Land Management 



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX 
Cooperating Agency 



Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement 

for the 

Proposed 
Yarnell Mining Project 

prepared by 

the Phoenix Field Office 

Phoenix, Arizona 



June 1998 




P-lKju 



Al 



Denise P. Meridith 
Arizona State Director 









Draft Environmental Impact Statement 

Proposed Yamell Mining Project, Yavapai County, Arizona 
Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix Field Office 



EIS number: 

Lead agency: 

Cooperating 
agency: 

Abstract: 



DEIS comment 
period ends: 

Agency 
contact: 



Manager 
responsible 
for preparing 
this DEIS: 

Official 
responsible 
for authorizing 
the action: 



BLM/AZ/PL-98/020 

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, San Francisco 



The Yamell Mining Company (YMC), a subsidiary of Bema Gold (U.S.) 
Incorporated, proposes to develop the Yamell Mining Project, which would 
consist of surface mining and ore processing facilities to recover gold near the 
town of Yamell in Yavapai County. Facilities would include an open pit mine, 
two waste rock dumps, ore crushing and heap leaching facilities, a laboratory, 
warehouse, and offices. Water would be obtained from local and regional 
groundwater sources and transported to the project via two pipelines. Mining 
would be conducted for six years, with closure and reclamation taking an 
additonal seven years following the end of operations. Facilities would be 
constructed on 118 acres of BLM-admmistered land, 75 acres of private land 
owned by YMC, and 8 acres of state land that would be included in the water 
supply system. This draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) documents 
the analysis of potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the 
proposed Yamell Mining Project. In addition to the proposed action, the 
document analyzes the no action alternative and two action alternatives which 
involve modifications in the placement of waste rock facilities. 

August 25, 1998 



Connie L. Stone, Project Manager 
Bureau of Land Management 
Phoenix Field Office 
2015 W. Deer Valley Road 
Phoenix, Arizona 85027 
Telephone: (602) 580-5517 

Michael A. Taylor 
Acting Field Manager 
Phoenix Held Office 
Phoenix, Arizona 

Denise P. Meridith 

State Director 

Bureau of Land Management 

Arizona 




United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

Phoenix Field Office 

2015 West Deer Valley Road 

Phoenix, AZ 85027-2099 



In Reply Refer To: 

3809 (020) 
AZA-29237 

June 22, 1998 

Dear Reader: 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) in 
response to a proposed mining plan of operations submitted to the Phoenix Field Office by the Yamell 
Mining Company, a subsidiary of Bema Gold (U.S.) Incorporated. The proposed Yamell Mining Project 
would consist of surface mining and ore processing facilities to recover gold near the town of Yamell in 
Yavapai County. The DEIS documents the analysis of potential environmental and socioeconomic 
impacts of the proposed mining project. 

In the past, you have indicated an interest in the proposed mine. Enclosed is a copy of the DEIS for 
your review and comment. We request your comments on the document. The comments most useful 
to us are substantive ones that address specific concerns, issues, or technical matters. Comments will 
be individually and collectively considered in preparing the Final EIS. 

The comment period is open for 60 days, beginning on June 26, 1998. All comments will be accepted 
until August 25, 1998. Please note that comments, including names and street addresses of 
respondents, are available for public review and may be published as part of the Final EIS, or other 
related documents. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. If you wish to withhold your 
name or street address from public review or from disclosure under the Freedom of Information 
Act, you must state this prominently in your written comment. Such requests will be honored to the 
extent allowed by law. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made 
available for public inspection in their entirety. 

You are invited to attend public hearings to be held on the following dates: 

Tuesday, July 28 in Wickenburg, Arizona at the Wickenburg Community Center, 160 N. Valentine St., 
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.. 

Wednesday, July 29 in Yamell, Arizona at the Yamell Senior Center, 136 Broadway St., 4:00 to 
8:00 p.m. 

Thursday, July 30 in Prescott, Arizona at the Prescott Resort Conference Center, 1500 Highway 69, 
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. 

Written comments should be sent to Connie Stone, Project Manager, Bureau of Land Management, 
Phoenix Field Office, 2015 W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85027. Please call her rf you have 
any questions at (602) 580-5517. We welcome your comments to assist us throughout the EIS process. 

Sincerely 



(J^UdUoi 



Michael A. Taylor 
Field Manager 




TABLE OF CONTENTS 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY S-l 

1.0 INTRODUCTION 1-1 

1 . 1 Purpose And Need ] - 1 

1.2 The EIS Process 1-1 

1 .3 The Proposed Action And Setting 1-3 

1 .4 Regulatory Framework 1-6 

1.4.1 Relationship to BLM Policies. Plans And Responsibilities 1-6 

1 .4. 1 . 1 Federal Land Policy and Management Act 1-6 

1 .4. 1 .2 Conformance with Existing Land Use Plan 1-6 

1.4.1.3 U.S. Mining Laws and BLM Regulations 1-9 

1 .4. 1 .4 Reclamation Requirements 1-9 

1.4.1.5 Cyanide Management Plan Requirements 1-10 

1.4.1.6 Concurrence with Use and Occupancy Regulations 1-10 

1 .4.2 Relationship to Other Governmental 

Policies. Plans And Responsibilities 1-11 

1.4.2.1 Federal Agency Responsibilities 1-11 

1 .4.2.2 State Agency Responsibilities 1-12 

1.4.2.3 Yavapai County Responsibilities 1-14 

1 .5 Significant Issues 1-14 

1 .6 Issues Beyond The Scope of This EIS And 

Eliminated From Further Discussion 1-16 

1.7 Organization of The EIS 1-16 



2.0 ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING THE PROPOSED ACTION 2-1 

2. 1 The Yarnell Project as Proposed by YMC 2-1 

2.1.1 Mining 2-5 

2.1.1.1 Mineable Reserves 2-7 

2 Production Schedule 2-7 

2.1.1.3 Haul Roads 2-7 

2.1.1.4 Blasting 2-9 

2.1.1.5 Pit Water Management 2-12 

2.1.2 Waste Rock Dumps 2-12 

2.1.2.1 Site Development and Operation 2-12 

2.2 Hazard and Runoff Control 2-13 

2.1.3 Ore Crushing And Stockpiles 2-14 

2.1.3.1 Crushing 2-14 



2.1 



2.1.4 



3.2 Stockpiles 

3.3 Crushing Schedule and Rate 
Leaching 

4.1 Design Criteria 

4.2 Leach Pad 



2-19 

2-19 

2-19 

2-19 

2-20 

4.3 Heap Construction and Operation 2-24 



2.1.4.4 Solution Containment 



2.1.5 

2 
9 



2.1.6 

2 



2 

2 
2.1.7 



2.1.8 



2-25 



1 .4.5 Solution Application and Collection 2-26 

Other Processing Considerations 2-26 

1 .5. 1 Gold Recovery 2-26 

1.5.2 Reagent Handling 2-30 

Ancillary Facilities And Procedures 2-31 

1 .6. 1 Access Road 2-31 

1 .6.2 Electrical Power Supply 2-31 

1 .6.3 Outdoor Lighting 2-31 

1 .6.4 Water Use and Storage 2-31 

1 .6.5 ANFO/explosive Storage 2-35 

1 .6.6 Fuel Storage 2-35 

1 .6.7 Reclamation Soil Stockpiles 2-36 

1 .6.8 Sanitary and Solid Waste Disposal 2-36 

1 .6.9 Potable Water 2-36 

1 .6.10 Maintenance and Warehouse Facility 2-36 

1 .6.1 1 Mine Office 2-36 

1 .6. 1 2 Assay Laboratory 2-37 

1 .6. 1 3 Fencing and Security 2-37 

1 .6.14 Fire Protection, Emergency Response and Safety 2-37 

1 .6.15 Drainage, Diversion and Sediment Control 2-38 

Closure And Reclamation 2-42 

1 .7.1 Closure and Reclamation of Facilities Associated with Cyanide Use 2-42 

1 .7.2 Reclamation of Other Facilities 2-46 

1 .7.3 Reclamation Planning and Scheduling Considerations 2-48 

Monitoring 2-50 

1 .8. 1 Revegetation 2-50 

1 .8.2 Water Quality 2-51 

1 .8.3 Other Monitoring 2-51 

2.2 Alternatives to The Proposed Action 2-52 

2.2. 1 Alternative 1 - No Action 2-52 

2.2.2 Alternative 2 - Elimination of The South Waste Rock Dump And Consolidation of Waste Rock 
Into The North Waste Rock Dump 2-53 

2.2.3 Alternative 3 - Elimination of The North Waste Rock Dump And Consolidation of Waste Rock 
Into The South Waste Rock Dump 2-53 

2.2.4 Comparison of Proposed Action And Project Alternatives 2-54 

2.2.5 Alternatives Eliminated From Further Study 2-54 

2.2.5.1 Changes in Mining Methods 2-59 

2.2.5.2 Changes in Waste Rock and Processed Ore Disposal 2-60 

2.2.5.3 Changes in Ore Processing Operations 2-62 

2.3 Summary Comparison of The Proposed Action And Alternatives 2-63 

2.4 Agency Preferred Alternative 2-77 



3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 3-1 

3.1 Physiography, Topography, Geology, Soils 3-2 



3.1.1 Project Location And Physiography 3-2 

3. 1 .2 Topography 3-2 

3. 1 .3 Geology 3-5 

3.1.3.1 Regional Geologic Setting 3-5 

3. 1 .3.2 Geologic Structure and Seismicity 3-6 

3.1 .3.3 Geology and Mineralization of the Mine Site Study Area 3-6 

3. 1 .4 Soils 3-11 

3.1.4.1 Soil Types 3-12 

3.1.4.2 Soil Mapping Units 3-18 

3.1.4.3 Soil Suitability and Revegetation Potential 3-19 

3.2 Water Resources 3-20 

3.2. 1 Sources of Information 3-20 

3.2.2 Surface Water Occurrence, Flow And Quantity 3-21 

3.2.2.1 Water Resources Study Area (WRSA) 3-21 

3.2.2.2 Mine Site Study Area 3-22 

3.2.3 Surface Water Quality 3-25 

3.2.4 Surface Water Rights And Use 3-25 

3.2.5 Groundwater Occurrence, Flow And Yield 3-25 

3.2.5.1 Water Resources Study Area (WRSA) 3-25 

3.2.5.2 Mine Site Study Area (MSA) 3-30 

3.2.6 Groundwater Quality 3-34 

3.2.7 Groundwater Permits And Use 3-39 

3.2.8 Waters of The United States 3-40 

3.3 Biological Resources 3-41 

3.3.1 Vegetation 3-41 

3.3.1.1 Vegetation Types 3-41 

3.3.1.2 Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Plants 3-48 

3.3.1 .3 Arizona Native Plant Law 3-48 

3.3.2 Wildlife 3-48 

3.3.2.1 Habitat Types 3-50 

3.3.2.2 Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species 3-54 

3.3.2.3 Other High Interest Species 3-62 

3.3.2.4 Other Wildlife Groups 3-63 

3.4 Air Resources 3-65 

3.4. 1 Climate 3-65 

3.4.1.1 Distinguishing Characteristics of the Region 3-65 

3.4.1.2 Project Monitoring Stations 3-66 

3.4.1.3 Temperature 3-66 

3.4. 1 .4 Precipitation 3-66 

3.4.1.5 Severe Storm Precipitation Extremes 3-69 

3.4. 1 .6 Evaporation 3-69 

3.4. 1 .7 Winds 3-69 

3.4. 1 .8 Wind Stability 3-72 

3.4. 1 .9 Dispersion Conditions 3-72 

3.4.2 Air Quality 3-73 



3.4.2.1 Air Quality Monitoring Program 3-73 

3.4.2.2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Classification 3-74 

3.4.2.3 Measured Particulate Concentrations 3-74 

3.4.2.4 Other NAAQS Pollutant Concentrations 3-75 

3.4.2.5 Air Toxins 3-75 

3.4.2.6 Visibility 3-75 

3.5 Land Use 3-76 

3.5. 1 Land Ownership 3-76 

3.5.2 Land Uses 3-76 

3.5.2.1 Bureau of Land Management Planning/ Land Use Considerations 3-77 

3.5.2.2 Yavapai County Land Use Planning/Land Use Considerations 3-77 

3.6 Visual Resources 3-78 

3.6.1 Visual Resource Management System 3-79 

3.6.2 Key Observation Points 3-80 

3.7 Cultural Resources 3-80 

3.7.1 Cultural History of The Project Study Area 3-83 

3.7. 1 . 1 Native American 3-83 

3.7. 1 .2 Euro-American 3-84 

3.7.2 Inventory Results 3-84 

3.8 Transportation 3-85 

3.8.1 Description of Roads And Existing Traffic Conditions 3-86 

3.8.2 Accident History 3-90 

3.9 Noise 3-90 

3.9. 1 Noise Terminology 3-90 

3.9.2 Existing Noise Levels 3-91 

3.9.3 Noise Regulations 3-95 

3.10 Socioeconomic Conditions 3-95 

3.10.1 Study Area 3-95 

3.10.2 Economic Trends And Conditions 3-97 

3.10.3 Employment And Income 3-98 

3.10.4 Population And Demographics 3-99 

3.10.5 Housing 3-100 

3.10.6 Public Services And Infrastructure 3-101 

3.10.6.1 Utilities 3-101 

3.10.6.2 Education 3-101 

3.10.6.3 Public Safety and Emergency Services 3-101 

3.10.6.4 Non-emergency Medical/Health Care 3-102 

3.10.6.5 Other Services 3-102 

3.10.7 Fiscal Conditions 3-102 

3.10.7.1 County Revenues and Expenditures 3-102 

3.10.7.2 Property Taxes 3-102 

3.10.8 Environmental Justice 3-103 

4.0 CONSEQUENCES OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 4-1 

4. 1 The Project as Proposed by YMC 4-2 



4.1.1 Topography 4-2 

4.1.1.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-2 

4.1.1.2 Impact Mitigation 4-2 

4.1.1 .3 Residual Effects 4-2 

4. 1 .2 Geology, Mineral Resources And Geotechnical Considerations 4-3 

4.1.2.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-3 

4. 1 .2.2 Impact Mitigation 4-3 

4.1 .2.3 Residual Effects 4-3 

4.1.3 Soils 4-4 

4. 1 .3. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-4 

4. 1 .3.2 Impact Mitigation 4-7 

4. 1 .3.3 Residual Effects 4-8 

4. 1 .4 Water Resources 4-8 

4.1 .4.1 Surface Water Effects - Occurrence, Flow and Quantity 4-8 

4.1 .4.2 Surface Water Effects - Quality 4-11 

4.1.4.3 Groundwater Effects - Occurrence, Flow and Yield 4-15 

4.1 .4.4 Groundwater Effects - Quality 4-21 

4. 1 .4.5 Waters of the United States 4-26 

4. 1 .4.6 Impact Mitigation 4-28 

4.1.4.7 Residual Effects 4-29 

4. 1 .5 Vegetation 4-29 

4. 1 .5. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-29 

4. 1 .5.2 Impact Mitigation 4-29 

4.1.5.3 Residual Effects 4-34 

4. 1 .6 Wildlife 4-34 

4. 1 .6. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-34 

4. 1 .6.2 Impact Mitigation 4-38 

4. 1 .6.3 Residual Effects 4-41 

4. 1 .7 Air Resources 4-42 

4. 1 .7. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-42 

4. 1 .7.2 Impact Mitigation 4-62 

4. 1 .7.3 Residual Effects 4-63 

4.1.8 Land Use 4-63 

4. 1 .8. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-64 

4. 1 .8.2 Impact Mitigation 4-66 

4. 1 .8.3 Residual Effects 4-66 

4. 1 .9 Visual Resources 4-66 

4. 1 .9. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-66 

4.1 .9.2 Impact Mitigation 4-71 

4.1 .9.3 Residual Effects 4-71 

4.1.10 Cultural Resources 4-71 

4. 1 . 1 0. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-71 

4.1.1 0.2 Impact Mitigation 4-72 

4.1.10.3 Residual Effects 4-73 

4. 1 . 1 1 Indian Trust Resources 4-73 



4.1.11.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-73 

4.1.11.2 Impact Mitigation 4-73 

4.1.1 1.3 Residual Effects 4-73 

4.1.12 Transportation Impacts 4-73 

4. 1 . 1 2. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-73 

4. 1 . 1 2.2 Impact Mitigation 4-76 

4.1.12.3 Residual Effects 4-76 

4.1.13 Noise 4-76 

4. 1 . 1 3. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-77 

4.1.13.2 Impact Mitigation 4-82 

4.1.13.3 Residual Effects 4-82 

4.1.14 Blasting 4-82 

4. 1 . 14. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-82 

4.1.14.2 Impact Mitigation 4-85 

4.1.14.3 Residual Effects 4-86 

4. 1 . 1 5 Hazardous Materials and Cyanide Management 4-87 

4.1.15.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-87 

4.1.15.2 Impact Mitigation 4-89 

4.1 .15.3 Residual Effects 4-90 

4. 1 . 1 6 Socioeconomic Conditions 4-90 

4. 1 . 1 6. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-90 

4.1.16.2 Impact Mitigation 4-106 

4.1.16.3 Residual Effects 4-106 

4.1.17 Environmental Justice 4-106 

4.1.17.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 4-106 

4.1.17.2 Impact Mitigation 4-106 

4.1.17.3 Residual Effects 4-106 

4.2 Alternative 1 - No Action Alternative 4-107 

4.2.1 Geology and Mineral Resources 4-107 

4.2.2 Soils 4-107 

4.2.3 Water Resources 4-107 

4.2.4 Vegetation 4-107 

4.2.5 Wildlife 4-107 

4.2.6 Air Resources 4-108 

4.2.7 Land Use 4-108 

4.2.8 Visual Resources 4-108 

4.2.9 Cultural Resources 4-108 

4.2.10 Transportation 4-108 

4.2.1 1 Noise 4-108 

4.2.12 Socioeconomics 4- 1 08 

4.2.13 Potential for Mine Development Not Requiring BLM Approval 4-108 

4.3 Alternative 2 — Elimination of The South Waste Rock Dump 

And Placement of All Waste Rock Into The North Waste Rock Dump 4-110 

4.3.1 Operational Effects 4-110 

4.3.2 Topography 4-110 



4.3.3 Soils 4-110 

4.3.4 Water Resources 4-113 

4.3.5 Vegetation 4-113 

4.3.6 Wildlife 4-113 

4.3.7 Air Resources 4-114 

4.3.8 Visual Resources 4-114 

4.3.9 Cultural Resources 4-114 

4.3.10 Transportation 4-117 

4.3.1 1 Noise 4-117 

4.4 Alternative 3 — Elimination of The North Waste Rock Dump 

And Placement of All Waste Rock Into The South Waste Rock Dump 4-117 

4.4.1 Operational Effects 4-118 

4.4.2 Topography 4-118 

4.4.3 Soils 4-118 

4.4.4 Water Resources 4-118 

4.4.5 Vegetation 4-119 

4.4.6 Wildlife 4-119 

4.4.7 Air Resources 4-119 

4.4.8 Visual Resources 4-119 

4.4.9 Cultural Resources 4-1 20 

4.4.10 Noise 4-120 

5.0 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS 5-1 

5.1 Past, Present And Reasonahly Foreseeable Activities 5-1 

5.1.1 Past Activities And Disturbances 5-1 

5. 1 .2 Present Activities And Disturbances 5-1 

5.1.2.1 Project Area 5-1 

5.1.2.2 Regional Area 5-2 

5. 1 .3 Reasonably Foreseeable Activities 5-2 

5.2 Resource Evaluations 5-3 

5.2. 1 Geological Resources and Topography 5-3 



2 Soils 5-3 

3 Water Resources 5-3 

4 Biological Resources 5-3 

5 Air Resources 5-4 

6 Land Use 5-4 

7 Cultural Resources 5-4 



5.2.8 Hazardous Materials And Waste Management 5-5 



? Noise 5-5 

1 Visual Resources 5-5 

1 1 Transportation 5-5 

1 2 Socioeconomics 5-6 



6.0 OTHER REQUIRED CONSIDERATIONS 6-1 

6.1 Unavoidable Adverse Impacts 6-1 



6.2 Relationship Between Short-term Uses of The Human Environment And Long-term Productivity .... 6-1 

6.2.1 Topography, Soils And Geology 6-1 

6.2.2 Water Resources 6-2 

6.2.3 Vegetation Resources 6-2 

6.2.4 Wildlife Resources 6-2 

6.2.5 Air Quality 6-2 

6.2.6 Land Use And Access 6-3 

6.2.7 Visual Resources 6-3 

6.2.8 Cultural Resources 6-3 

6.2.9 Noise 6-3 

6.2. 1 Socioeconomics 6-4 

6.3 Irreversible And Irretrievable Commitment of Resources 6-4 

7.0 LIST OF PREPARERS 7-1 

8.0 CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 8-1 

8.1 Public Participation 8-1 

8.2 Consultation With Governmental Agencies and Native American Tribes 8-2 

8.3 Environmental Justice 8-2 

8.4 EIS Availability 8-3 

8.4.1 Public Review 8-3 

8.4.2 List of Agencies, Organizations And Individuals to Whom Copies of This EIS Were Sent 8-3 

9.0 REFERENCES 9-1 

10.0 ACRONYMS AND GLOSSARY 10-1 

11.0 INDEX OF KEY WORDS 11-1 



APPENDICES 
APPENDIX A - Aquifer Test Results 
APPENDIX B - Groundwater Elevation Data 
APPENDIX C - Water Quality Tables 
APPENDIX D - Geochemical Characteristics 
APPENDIX E - Water Rights 

APPENDIX F - Summary of Field Measurements at Springs and Stream Stations 
APPENDIX G - Plant Species 
APPENDIX H - Water Drawdown Plots 
APPENDIX I - Visual Simulations 

LIST OF FIGURES 

Page 

Figure S-l Project Location Map S-2 

Figure S-2 Proposed Project Facilities S-5 

Figure S-3 Project Flow Sheet S-7 

Figure S-4 Water Supply and Pipeline Corridors S-9 

Figure 1-1 Project Location Map 1-2 

Figure 1-2 Major Phases of the EIS Process 1-4 

Figure 2-1 Project Flow Sheet 2-2 

Figure 2-2 Proposed Project Facilities 2-3 

Figure 2-3 Heap Leach and Waste Rock Dump Cross Sections 2-15 

Figure 2-4 Diversion Channels 2-17 

Figure 2-5 Heap Leach and Pond System Facility Layout 2-21 

ix 



Figure 2-6 Typical Leach Pad and Barren Pond Liner System Details 2-23 

Figure 2-7 Solution Collection Pond Layout 2-27 

Figure 2-8 Typical Barren and Pregnant Pond Cross Sections 2-29 

Figure 2-9 Water Supply and Pipeline Corridors 2-33 

Figure 2-10 Storm Water Outfalls Peak Flow and Runoff 2-39 

Figure 2-11 Facilities After Reclamation 2-43 

Figure 2-12 Elimination of the South Dump Consolidation of Waste Rock into North Dump Site 2-55 

Figure 2-13 Elimination of the North Dump Consolidation of Waste Rock into South Dump Site 2-57 

Figure 3-1 Project Vicinity Map 3-3 

Figure 3-2 Regional Geology Map 3-7 

Figure 3-3 Geologic Cross Section 3-9 

Figure 3-4 Mine Site Study Area Soil Types Map 3-13 

Figure 3-5 Water Supply and Pipeline Corridors Soil Types Map 3-15 

Figure 3-6 WRSA Watersheds and Surface Water Observation Stations 3-23 

Figure 3-7 Aquifer Systems and Rock Units of the Water Resource Study Area 3-27 

Figure 3-8 Regional Groundwater Level Elevation Contours Mid-April 1996 3-31 

Figure 3-9 Regional Groundwater Divide Profile 3-33 

Figure 3-10 Mine Site Study Area Groundwater Map 3-35 

Figure 3-11 Mine Site Study Area Groundwater Profile 3-37 

Figure 3-12 Mine Site Study Area Vegetation Types Map 3-43 

Figure 3-13 Water Supply and Pipeline Corridors Vegetation Types Map 3-45 

Figure 3-14 Water Supply and Pipeline Corridors Desert Tortoise Signs and Habitat 3-59 

Figure 3-15 Air Quality and Meteorological Monitoring Station 3-68 



Figure 3-16 Wind Frequency Distribution September 1992-August 1993 3-70 

Figure 3-17 Seasonal Wind Rose 3-71 

Figure 3-18 Locations of Key Observation Points 3-81 

Figure 3-19 Mine Site Study Area and Transportation System 3-87 

Figure 3-20 Examples of Typical Noise Levels 3-92 

Figure 3-21 Noise Measurement Location 3-93 

Figure 4-1 Mine Site Study Area Disturbed Areas Soil Types Map 4-5 

Figure 4-2 Projected Groundwater Levels in Relation to Mine Pit Elevations 4-17 

Figure 4-3 Heap Leach and Pond System Discharge Impact Area 4-23 

Figure 4-4 Mine Site Study Area Disturbed Areas Vegetation Types Map 4-31 

Figure 4-5 Modeling Boundary and Emission Sources 4-47 

Figure 4-6 Receptor Grid for Modeling of NO x , CO, S0 2 , HCN and Hg 4-51 

Figure 4-7 Receptor Grid for PM M , Modeling 4-53 

Figure 4-8 Worst Case Maximum 24-Hour PM 1(I Concentrations (/jg/rn 1 ) 4-57 

Figure 4-9 Base Noise Measurement Location 4-79 

Figure 4-10 Mine Site Study Area Disturbed Areas Soil Types Map (Alternative 2) 4-111 

Figure 4-11 Mine Site Study Area Disturbed Areas Vegetation Types Map (Alternative 2) 4-115 

Figure 4-12 Mine Site Study Area Disturbed Areas Soil Types Map (Alternative 3) 4-121 

Figure 4-13 Mine Site Study Area Disturbed Areas Vegetation Types Map (Alternative 3) 4-123 



LIST OF TABLES 



TABLE 1-1 Yarnell Project Summary of Projected Disturbance 1-5 

TABLE 1-2 Applicable Permit and Regulatory Compliance Summary for the Yarnell Project 1-7 

TABLE 1-3 Significant Issues Raised During the Scoping Process 1-15 

TABLE 2-1 Proposed Project Equipment 2-6 

TABLE 2-2 Estimated Mineable Reserves 2-8 

TABLE 2-3 Production Summary 2-8 

TABLE 2-4 Electrical Power Equipment 2-32 

TABLE 2-5 Water Supply Sources 2-35 

TABLE 2-6 Reclamation Seed Mix for Proposed Yarnell Project 2-49 

TABLE 2-7 Proposed Water Quality Monitoring Program Summary 2-51 

TABLE 2-8 Comparison of Proposed Action and Project Alternatives 2-59 

TABLE 2-9 Alternatives Eliminated From Further Study 2-60 

TABLE 2-10 Summary of Potential Effects of Proposed Action and Alternatives 2-64 

TABLE 3-1 Classification of the Soils 3-17 

TABLE 3-2 Soil and Miscellaneous Map Units of the Proposed Mine Site Study Area 3-18 

TABLE 3-3 Soil Map Units Along the Water Supply Pipeline Corridor 3-19 

TABLE 3-4 Summary of Spring 1996 Data 3-22 

TABLE 3-5 Arizona Water Quality Designated Use Standards for Antelope Creek 

and Federal Drinking Water Standards 3-26 

TABLE 3-6 Water Quality of Four Wells in the Yarnell Mine Site Study Area Compared 

with the Arizona State Aquifer Water Quality Standards 3-38 

TABLE 3-7 Estimated Groundwater Use in the Vicinity of the Proposed Yarnell Project 3-39 

TABLE 3-8 Arizona Protected Plants 3-49 

TABLE 3-9 Amphibians and Reptiles Detected Near the Mine Site Study Area and Water Supply Corridors 

During October 1991, July 1992 and September-October 1996 Surveys 3-50 

TABLE 3-10 Birds Detected Near the Mine Site Study Area and Water Supply Corridors 

During October 1991, July 1992 and September-October 1996 Surveys 3-51 

TABLE 3-1 1 Mammals Detected Near the Mine Site Study Area and Water Supply Corridors 

During October 1991, July 1992 and September-October 1996 Surveys 3-52 

TABLE 3-12 Threatened. Endangered and Sensitive Species 3-55 

TABLE 3-13 Mean Monthly Temperature Summary (°F) for the Mine Site Study Area and Prescott Stations 3-67 

TABLE 3-14 Monthly Precipitation Averages for Prescott, Walnut Grove and Yarnell Hill (inches) 3-67 

TABLE 3-15 Estimates for 10-, 25-. 50- and 100- Year Precipitation Events 3-69 

TABLE 3-16 National and Arizona Ambient Air Quality Standards 3-73 

TABLE 3-17 PM,„ Monitoring Summary for the Mine Site Study Area (September 1992 - August 1993) . . . 3-74 

TABLE 3-18 Existing and Historic Traffic Volumes on State Highway 89 3-89 



TABLE 3-19 Existing and Historic Traffic Volumes on South Lakewood Drive 3-89 

TABLE 3-20 State Highway 89 Accident and Injury/Fatality Data 3-90 

TABLE 3-21 Noise Measurement Results 3-95 

TABLE 3-22 Yavapai County Labor Force and Employment (Annual Average for 1991-1996) 3-98 

TABLE 4-1 Proposed Yarnell Project Operational Features Affecting Topography 4-2 

TABLE 4-2 Impacts to Waters of the U.S 4-27 

TABLE 4-3 Mitigation Features Incorporated into Proposed Project Plans 4-30 

TABLE 4-4 Additional Recommended Mitigation Measures 4-31 

TABLE 4-5 Air Emission Sources 4-44 

TABLE 4-6 Maximum Activity Rates 4-45 

TABLE 4-7 Summary of Maximum Daily Emissions 4-46 

TABLE 4-8 Summary of Maximum Annual Emissions 4-46 

TABLE 4-9 Maximum Estimated Air Quality Impacts 4-50 

TABLE 4-10 Photographic Standard Visual Range Data for the Pine Mountain Wilderness 4-59 

TABLE 4-1 1 Summary of Air Pollution Control Measures and Efficiencies 4-63 

TABLE 4-12 Summary of Projected Visual Effects During Operations and After Reclamation 4-67 

TABLE 4-13 Management Recommendations for Cultural Resources 4-72 

TABLE 4-14 Sources of Mine Employees Commuting to Mine Site 4-74 

TABLE 4-15 Noise Impact Criteria 4-77 

TABLE 4-16 Predicted Noise Levels 4-78 

TABLE 4-17 Predicted Noise Level Increases 4-78 

TABLE 4-18 Assumptions Used in Projecting Potential Effects to Employment, Population and Housing . . . 4-92 

TABLE 4-19 Total Direct Employment by Residency Area 4-94 

TABLE 4-20 Direct Local Hires by Residency Area 4-94 

TABLE 4-21 Total Indirect Employment by Residency Area 4-94 

TABLE 4-22 Total Annual Direct and Indirect Income During Operations Phase by Residency Area 4-95 

TABLE 4-23 Inmigrating Population by Residency Area 4-97 

TABLE 4-24 Housing Needs for Inmigrating Population 4-97 

TABLE 4-25 Inmigrating School Children by Residency Area 4-101 

TABLE 4-26 Categories of Potential Economic Effects on Government Finances 4-101 

TABLE 4-27 Inmigrating Population by Residency Area Base Case Compared to Alternative Case 4-105 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 



The Phoenix Field Office of the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) received a Mining Plan of 
Operations (MPO) from the Yarnell Mining Company 
(YMC), a subsidiary of Bema Gold (U.S.) 
Incorporated, in December 1994. The MPO outlined 
the proposed Yarnell Project, which would consist of 
surface mining and ore processing facilities to recover 
gold near the town of Yarnell in Yavapai County, 
Arizona (see Figure S-l ). In response to the BLM's 
requests, refined versions of the MPO were submitted 
in March 1996 and November 1996. The MPO and 
supplemental information provide the basis for the 
proposed action that is analyzed in this draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The BLM has 
assigned the MPO case file number AZA-29237 in its 
serialized case recordation system. 

This draft EIS describes the possible environmental 
consequences of the proposed Yarnell Project. This 
Executive Summary provides a summary of the 
proposed action, major issues, alternatives and 
conclusions as presented in this draft EIS. 



PURPOSE AND NEED 

The purpose of YMC's proposed action is to 
develop and operate an open-pit gold mine and ore 
processing facility, known as the Yarnell Project, to 
produce an economically marketable product. Gold is 
a precious metal for which there is worldwide demand. 
The proposed action would involve the extraction and 
processing of ore to produce dore bars, a marketable 
commodity, in a profitable manner. 



Prior to construction and operation of the Yarnell 
Project, approval must be granted by the BLM because 
part of the operation, as proposed, is situated on federal 
lands administered by the BLM. YMC owns or 
controls mining claims on these and adjacent private 
and state lands. Under provisions of the U.S. mining 
laws (30 U.S. Code 2 1 -54). the holder of valid mining 
claims has the statutory right to enter and use such 
lands for prospecting, exploration, development and 
processing of mineral resources in accordance with 
applicable regulations. YMC has the legal right to 
mine and process these gold resources through 
submittal of an MPO. The BLM cannot approve the 
MPO if the proposed action would result in 
unnecessary or undue degradation of the federal lands. 
Environmental impact analysis is required to make this 
determination. Absent a finding of "unnecessary or 
undue degradation," the decision to be made by the 
BLM would be to authorize or modify the proposed 
action. 



THE EIS PROCESS AND 
SCOPE OF THIS EIS 

This draft EIS documents the process used by the 
BLM to make a decision on the proposed mining and 
ore processing operations. Its purpose is to provide a 
full and objective disclosure of environmental impacts 
and to inform the decisionmakers and the public of 
reasonable alternatives which would reduce or avoid 
adverse impacts. The National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) directs federal agencies to use a 
systematic and interdisciplinary approach to 
environmental impact analysis and requires that if any 



S-l 



PRESCOTT • 



„„\ J— 



-i260'}- 



|93) 



03 I -/ 

# ^ARNELL YARN ELL L 

*— PROJECT 

YAVAPA,_CO ,71 {_ WICKENBURG V" 

MARICOPA <'d ' * /~S 

L 50 J ^-.74) 




PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 



FIGURE S-1 

PROJECT LOCATION MAP 



S-2 



action taken by a government agency may 
"significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment," an EIS must be prepared. Because of 
the proximity and potential significant impacts on the 
nearby community, the BLM has determined that an 
EIS is required to analyze possible effects from the 
proposed project. 

Because of its specific roles and responsibilities in 
managing the federal lands which would be involved in 
the proposed action, the BLM serves as the "lead 
agency" for this EIS. In conjunction with its 
responsibilities under the Clean Water Act and NEPA, 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
participating as a "cooperating agency" in the 
preparation of this draft EIS. 

The EIS process entails several steps. During 
scoping, the public and other government agencies are 
afforded the opportunity in public meetings to express 
concerns and identify issues to be addressed within the 
draft EIS. Written comments are also solicited. 
Following scoping, the proposed action and reasonable 
alternatives to the proposed action are clearly defined, 
based on BLM concerns and those presented by other 
government agencies and the public. Elements of the 
environment which would be affected by the proposed 
action and alternatives are described in the draft EIS. 
An analysis of the consequences (impacts) of the 
proposed action and reasonable alternative actions is 
then conducted. 



opportunity for public participation. Comments and 
questions received during the public comment period 
are reviewed, analyzed and incorporated into the final 
EIS, as appropriate. 

In a final EIS, the BLM may modify alternatives, 
and substantive public comments are considered and 
addressed. When a decision has been reached, the 
BLM must issue a Record of Decision (ROD) 
documenting the decision made and the reasons for 
such a decision. 

The proposed Yarnell Project would include 
facilities on federal, state and private lands. The scope 
of this EIS includes all areas that could be affected by 
the project, regardless of land ownership. However, 
the BLM has the authority to regulate activities or 
impose mitigation measures only on federal lands. 

THE PROPOSED ACTION 
AND SETTING 

The Yarnell gold deposit is in the Weaver 
Mountains of Yavapai County, Arizona. The property 
is situated one-half mile south of the town of Yarnell 
and one-quarter mile southeast of the Glen Hah 
subdivision, as measured from the northwest boundary 
of the proposed project area to the southern boundaries 
of Glen Hah and Yarnell. The proposed project is 
located within Sections 14, 15, 22 and 23 of Township 
1 North, Range 5 West. 



The results of the analysis are documented in the 
draft EIS. A formal public review and comment period 
occurs after publication of a draft EIS, during which 
time written and oral comments and questions on the 
analysis are solicited. One or more public meetings 
during this comment period afford an additional 



The area has a history of mining. The Yarnell gold 
deposit was first discovered in the late 1 800s. 
Underground and surface mining and associated ore 
processing occurred within the site at various times 
until 1942. Part of the proposed mining area has 



S-3 



incurred extensive surface disturbance from historic 
exploration, mining and ore processing activities. 

As shown on Table S-l, disturbance would include 
approximately 1 1 8 acres on 30 unpatented mining 
claims (public land) and 75 acres on five patented 
mining claims held by YMC and other private land. An 
additional 7.7 acres of state of Arizona land would be 
disturbed as part of the project's water supply. Total 
disturbance would be about 201 acres. About 14 acres 
(1 1 acres on patented claims owned by YMC and three 
acres of public land) of proposed Yarnell Project 
disturbance would occur on land previously disturbed 
by historic mining activities. An estimated 294 acres 
would be within a perimeter security fence constructed 
to restrict access by wildlife and the public. 

The proposed project facilities are shown in Figure 
S-2. A project flow sheet showing the relationship of 
proposed project components is presented in Figure S- 
3. As proposed, the Yarnell ore deposit would be 
mined using a conventional open-pit mining method. 
Mining is planned to occur 24 hours per day. five days 
per week. Ore would be hauled directly to the crusher 
and either dumped directly into the primary crusher or 



stockpiled nearby for later feeding. 

Waste rock would be hauled to either the South 
Waste Rock Dump (SWRD) or the North Waste Rock 
Dump (NWRD). Upon the completion of mining, 
approximately 3.7 million tons would have been hauled 
to the NWRD and 7.6 million tons to the SWRD for a 
total of 1 1 .3 million tons. In addition, 574.000 tons of 
waste rock would be used for the construction of the 
leach pad and crusher area, bringing the total volume of 
waste rock to 1 1 .9 million tons. 

The ore processing facilities would consist of a two- 
stage crushing plant, equipment to haul crushed ore 
onto the heap leach pad, the pad, solution collection 
ditches, a pregnant solution pond, a carbon adsorption 
recovery plant, a barren solution pond and storm water 
pond. Crushing operations, together with leach pad 
loading, are planned for 24 hours per day, five days per 
week. Leaching and metal recovery activities would 
occur 24 hours per day, seven days per week. 

The proposed project infrastructure would include 
an administrative office, mine shop, assay lab, 
warehouse facilities, power distribution and water 



TABLE S-l 
Yarnell Project Summary of Projected Disturbance 



Project Component 


Projected Disturbance Area (acres) 




Public Land 
(BLM) 


Public Land 
(State Trust) 


Private Land 


Total 


Yarnell Pit 

North Waste Rock Dump 

South Waste Rock Dump 

Heap Leach Facility 

Solution Storage Ponds/ADR Plant 

Roads/Buildings/Storage 

Sediment Control/Diversion 

Well Field/Pipeline 

Microwave Stations Relocation 


4.8 
11.7 
33.3 
35.3 

7.4 
18.7 

0.3 

6.5 


7.7 


32.9 
10.1 
15.3 
5.2 
0.0 
5.6 
0.2 
4.3 
1.5 


37.7 
21.8 
48.6 
40.5 

7.4 
24.3 

0.5 
18.5 

1.5 


TOTAL 


118.0 


7.7 


75.1 


200.8 



S-4 





S-7 



supply facilities and access and haul roads. All 
facilities, except the water supply wells and the water 
delivery pipelines, would be at the project site. Most 
power requirements would be supplied by on-site 
generators, with power to the mine office and 
maintenance facility supplied by Arizona Public 
Service. Water would be obtained from local and 
regional groundwater sources and transported to the 
mining/processing area via proposed pipelines (see 
Figure S-4). 

The proposed production schedule calls for mining 
and processing 1 ,200.000 tons of ore per year. Annual 
gold production, over an approximate six-year mine 
life, would average 30,100 troy ounces. Reclamation 
and closure activities (including monitoring) would 
take an additional seven years following the end of 
operations. 

Detailed information on the proposed project is 
included in Chapter 2 of this draft EIS. 



RELATIONSHIP TO BLM POLICIES, 
PLANS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

In addition to NEPA, the BLM must consider other 
laws, regulations, policies and plans in reviewing the 
Yarnell Project MPO, including: 

♦ Federal Land Policy and Management Act 

♦ U.S. Mining Laws and BLM Mining 
Regulations (43 CFR Part 3809) 

♦ BLM Land Use Plan (Lower Gila North 
Management Framework Plan) 

♦ National Historic Preservation Act 

♦ Executive Order 1 1 990 (Protection of wetlands) 

♦ Executive Order 1 2898 (Environmental justice) 



♦ Executive Order 13007 (Indian sacred sites) 

♦ Department of Interior Secretarial Order 3175 
(Indian trust resources) 

♦ Endangered Species Act 

♦ Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1 9 1 8 

♦ Use and Occupancy Regulations 

♦ Reclamation Plan Requirements 

♦ Cyanide Management Plan Requirements 

The BLM' s role and responsibilities for these laws, 
regulations, policies and plans are discussed in Chapter 
1 of this draft EIS. 



RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER 

GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES, 

PLANS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

In addition to the BLM, other federal, state and 
local agencies have responsibilities in reviewing the 
proposed Yarnell Project. These other agencies 
include: 

♦ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

♦ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

♦ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

♦ U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration 

♦ Arizona Department of Agriculture 

♦ Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 

♦ State Historic Preservation Office 

♦ Arizona State Mine Inspector 

♦ Arizona Department of Transportation 

♦ Arizona Department of Public Safety 

♦ Arizona Department of Water Resources 

♦ State Fire Marshall's Office 

♦ Arizona State Land Department 



S-8 




SCALE IN FE^T 



EXPLANATION 

-3000— EXISTING CONTOUR - 1000-FT INTERVAL 

O PUMP STATION 

^b^^b WATER LINE CORRIDOR - PRIVATE LAND 
i^^^BB WATER LINE CORRIDOR - BLM LAND 
^—^«a WATER LINE CORRIDOR - STATE LAND 



NOTE Based on Figure from Mining Plan 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA 



FIGURE S-4 



WATER SUPPLY AND 
PIPELINE CORRIDORS 



* 



♦ Arizona Game and Fish Department 

♦ Arizona State Museum 

♦ Yavapai County Planning Department 

Specific roles, responsibilities and concerns of these 
agencies and other governmental requirements are 
discussed in Chapter 1 of this draft EIS. 



SIGNIFICANT ISSUES 

Scoping activities are an integral part of the 
environmental review process and were used to define 
the issues addressed in this draft EIS. Public 
participation in the scoping process serves to inform 
the public of the proposed action and to provide the 
public with the opportunity to identify environmental, 
social, cultural and economic issues and concerns. 

A notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the 
Yarnell Project was published in the Federal Register 
on September 21,1 995. Meeting announcements were 
placed in the Federal Register and in local newspapers, 
and a scoping document describing the proposed action 
and a meeting schedule was mailed to approximately 
750 individuals, public officials and organizations. 
Public scoping meetings conducted in Wickenburg, 
Yarnell and Prescott on October 17, 18 and 19, 1995, 
respectively, were attended by approximately 400 
people. 

Public and agency comments at the scoping 
meetings and written comments submitted to the BLM 
during the scoping period generated a list of more than 
300 specific concerns, comments and questions. The 
BLM categorized and grouped each issue according to 
its primary resource or topic. A scoping report was 
prepared to document the issue identification process. 



Table S-2 provides a summary of significant issues 
associated with project development and locations 
within this EIS where these issues are addressed and 
analyzed. 



DEVELOPMENT OF 

ALTERNATIVES TO 

THE PROPOSED ACTION 

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 
regulations (Section 1502.14) require that an EIS 
include an examination of reasonable alternatives to the 
proposed action. Potential alternatives consist of 
reasonable modifications to various elements of the 
MPO. These alternatives fall into two main 
categories - those that modify the location of the 
proposed facilities and those that modify the methods 
and procedures to be employed in the operation. Some 
potential alternatives to the proposed action were 
eliminated from detailed study for reasons relating to 
purpose and need, technical and economic feasibility, 
and environmental consequences. Alternatives to the 
proposed action chosen for detailed study in this draft 
EIS were developed after a detailed review of the MPO 
and a consideration of scoping comments provided by 
the public and other agencies. Alternatives to the 
proposed action which are analyzed in this draft EIS 
are summarized below. 

♦ Alternative 1 - No Action. The no action 
alternative serves as the baseline for evaluation 
of the potential effects of all other project 
alternatives. Under this alternative, the 
proposed action or other action alternatives 
presented within this draft EIS would not occur. 



S-ll 



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S-12 



♦ Alternative 2 - Elimination of the SWRD and 
consolidation of waste rock into the north dump 
site. This alternative would eliminate the south 
dump and confine waste rock disposal to the 
north dump site. Other elements of the MPO 
would remain the same under Alternative 2. 

♦ Alternative 3 - Elimination of the NWRD and 
consolidation of waste rock into the south dump 
site. This alternative would eliminate the 
NWRD and confine waste rock disposal to the 
south dump site. Other elements of the MPO 
would remain the same under Alternative 3. 

Further information on these alternatives is included 
in Chapter 2 of this draft EIS. 



AGENCY PREFERRED 
ALTERNATIVE 

The BLM will not reach a final decision to select a 
specific agency-preferred alternative at this early stage 
of analysis. Section 1 502. 14(e) oftheCEQ regulations 
requires that the agency identify its preferred 
alternative in the final EIS. However, Department of 
the Interior policy (516 DM 4.10A) requires the 
identification of a preferred alternative in the draft EIS, 
unless another law prohibits such an expression. 
Among the three action alternatives, the proposed 
action is the BLM's preliminary identification of its 
preferred alternative. 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 

Chapter 3 of this draft EIS describes the existing 
environmental and socioeconomic condition of the area 



that would be affected by the proposed Yarnell Project. 
The chapter is organized by elements of the human and 
physical environment including: 

♦ physiography, topography, geology and soils 

♦ water resources 

♦ biological resources (vegetation and wildlife) 

♦ air resources 

♦ land use 

♦ visual resources 

♦ cultural resources 

♦ transportation 

♦ noise 

♦ socioeconomic conditions 

The environmental study area for each resource 
encompasses the area within which potential direct and 
indirect effects to a specific resource would be 
expected to occur. Elements of the human environment 
such as areas of critical environmental concern, 
farmlands, wild and scenic rivers and wilderness do not 
exist in the study area and are therefore not discussed 
in this draft EIS. 



CONSEQUENCES OF THE PROPOSED 
ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 

An analysis of the potential environmental and 
socioeconomic consequences (impacts) that could 
result from implementation of the proposed action or 
the alternatives is provided in Chapter 4 of this draft 
EIS. Table S-3 provides a summary of potential 
impacts organized by resource for the proposed action 
and alternatives. 



S-13 



An environmental impact is defined as a 
modification of the existing environment or as it is 
anticipated to be in the future as a result of the 
proposed action or alternatives. Environmental impacts 
can occur as a result of the action (direct) or as a 
secondary result (indirect), and can be long-term 
(greater than 10 years) or short-term (less than 10 
years) in duration. Generally, impacts are identified in 
the context of the project area, and the extent these 
impacts are perceptible beyond the project area. 



CUMULATIVE IMPACTS 

As discussed in Chapter 5 of this draft EIS, 
cumulative impacts are defined as the sum of all past, 
present and reasonably foreseeable future impacts 
(including the proposed action) resulting from other 
activities in the study areas for each element of the 
human and physical environment. Past, present and 
reasonably foreseeable future activities considered in 
the cumulative analysis include: 



Quantitative measurements of impacts for 
assessment of impact magnitudes are discussed where 
possible. Where numerical measurements are not 
possible or readily available, qualitative criteria are 
used to assess levels of effect based on agency 
guidelines and professional evaluations. 

Mitigation refers to measures designed to reduce, 
avoid or rectify specific or potential impacts. As part 
of its proposed action, YMC has proposed some 
mitigation measures through project design and 
management procedures. When potentially significant 
impacts would remain after these design measures and 
best management practices have been applied, 
additional mitigation measures are proposed where 
feasible. These measures are recommended by the 
BLM, within the limits of their authority, and are not 
part of YMC's MPO. Final mitigation measures would 
be identified after public review of this draft EIS and in 
consultation with other agencies and YMC. Impacts 
which would remain after mitigation measures have 
been applied are termed residual effects. Table S-3 
also summarizes mitigation measures and residual 
effects. If the MPO were approved, the BLM would 
identify mitigation measures as required conditions or 
stipulations in the ROD. 



♦ Past activities and disturbances associated with 
the lands in and around the Yarnell Project area 
have traditionally been associated with mining. 
Because of the direct relationship of these 
historical disturbances with the proposed project 
activities, these past activities were considered 
in the project-specific impact analysis (Chapter 4). 

♦ The major current activity on the proposed 
project site is exploration conducted by YMC 
for purposes of defining the geologic reserve 
proposed for mining and processing. Even with 
the historical and current mining/exploration 
activities on proposed project lands, much of the 
project area contains natural vegetation and 
serves as open space and wildlife habitat. 

♦ To be "reasonably foreseeable," a project must 
have been formally planned, proposed and 
announced to the public. With regard to the 
proposed project area, immediately adjacent 
lands and the Yarnell/Glen Ilah community, there 
are no known specific proposals that have been 
formally proposed and/or announced to the public. 

Given that past, present and reasonably foreseeable 
future activities in addition to the proposed action are 
minimal, the major source of cumulative impact to the 
environment is from the proposed Yarnell Project. 



S-l- 



TABLE S-3 
Summary of Potential Effects of Proposed Action and Alternatives, Mitigation and Residual Effects 



Environmental 
Resource 


Resource 
Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


Effects from Alternative 1 
(No Action) 


Effects from Alternative 2 
(Eliminate SWRD) 


Effects from Alternative 3 
(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Topography 


Changes in Land 


Topography near the heads of Yarnell 


No effect on existing 


• Topography at the head 


• Topography of upper 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Direct long-term alteration of 




Forms 


Creek and Fools Gulch would be altered by 


conditions 


of Fools Gulch would 


Yarnell Creek would not 


• Disturbed areas would be graded to stable slopes and 


existing topography 






placement of NWRD, SWRD, pit. roads 




not be altered by the 


be altered by the NWRD 


blended into existing topography 


• Introduction of unnatural land 






and heap leach facility 




SWRD 

• NWRD would modify 
topography of an 
additional 28 acres 
within the Yarnell Creek 
drainage 

• Height of NWRD would 
increase 1 00 feet 


• SWRD at the head of 
Fools Gulch would 
increase by 100 feet in 
height 

• An additional 20 acres of 
steep slopes would be 
created 


• A berm and fence would be constructed around 
abandoned pit 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation: 

• None 


forms 


Geology and 


Availability of 


• Planned recovery of about 180,000 


• Ore body would remain in 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


No effects identified requiring mitigation 


Same as proposed action 


Mineral Resources 


Geological 
Resources and 
Geological Risks 


ounces of gold, depleting the mineral 
resource 
• No other identifiable geological changes 
or risks 


place 

• Exploration may continue 

• Plans for a similar 
operation on private land 
may be developed 










Soils 


Availability and 


• Disturbance of soil characteristics in the 


No effect on existing 


• About 20 fewer acres of 


• About 22 fewer acres of 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Permanent loss of 




Productivity of Soils 


201 -acre disturbed area 


conditions 


soils would be disturbed 


soil would be disturbed 


• Replacement of topsoil or soil amendments on disturbed 


unrecoverable soil resources 






• Conversion of 46 acres to 50 percent 




• Loss of hydric soils 


• Steep slopes would 


areas prior to revegetation 


• Permanent alteration of 






slopes 




associated with wetland 


occupy about 20 


• stockpiling and revegetation of salvaged topsoil 


topsoil characteristics 






• Increased erosion 




• Approximately 30,000 


additional acres 


• erosion control 


• About 35 acres of open pit 






• No topsoil on 35 acres of open pit and 




more cubic yards of 


• Decrease in salvageable 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


and roads would not have 






permanent roads 




salvageable topsoil 


topsoil by 24,000 cubic 


Regulations or Policies: 


topsoil replaced 






• Loss of up to one-half of soils on steep 




compared to proposed 


yards compared to 


• None 








slopes and boulder areas (not 




action 


proposed action 


Additional Recommended Mitigation 








salvageable) 








• Use of all salvaged topsoil in reclamation 




Water Resources - 


Heap Leach Facility 


• During operations, about 45 acres would 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Tom Cat Tank would be 


Surface Water 




no longer drain to Yarnell Creek 

• Tom Cat Tank, a range improvement, 
would be buried 

• A catastrophic event could cause release 
of contaminated solution to areas outside 
the facility 


conditions 






• Adequate storage to contain storr»|i runoff, operating 
solution and 24-hour draindown of heap 

• Backup power source to maintain solution levels in ponds 

• Freeboard included in solution pond design 

• Contingency plans to handle potential emergency situations 

• Diversion of runoff around facilities 

• Rinsing and neutralization of heap during closure 
reclamation 

• Non-discharging facility designed to meet or exceed ADEQ 
requirements and BADCT design standards 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Determine specific haulage and loading patterns and runoff 
controls outside of heap 


permanently lost 



S-15 



Environmental 
Resource 






Effects from Alternative 1 


Effects from Alternative 2 


Effects from Alternative 3 






Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


(No Action) 


(Eliminate SWRD) 


(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Water Resources - 


Waste Rock Dumps 


• Drainage patterns would be permanently 


No effect on existing 


• Surface water and 


• Surface water and 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Drainage patterns 


Surface Water 


(WRDs) 


altered 


conditions 


groundwater resources in 


groundwater resources in 


• Reclaim NWRD after site is filled with waste rock, prior to 


permanently altered 






• About 37 acres of Fools Gulch drainage 




Fools Gulch would not be 


Yarnell Creek would not 


closure/reclamation of project 


• Steep reclaimed slopes of 






would be permanently diverted to Yamell 




affected by the SWRD 


be affected by 


• Construct sediment retention structures at toe of WRDs 


waste rock dumps and heap 






Creek 




• Increased erosion may 


construction of NWRD 


• Monitor Fools Gulch and Cottonwood Springs per APP 


leach may contribute 






• Seepage could appear at the toe of the 




occur from reconstruction 


• About 20 additional acres 


• Meet or exceed ADEQ-BADCT prescriptive standards 


increased sediment to surface 






dumps 




of 1,200 feet of Yamell 


of steep slopes would be 


• Develop operational plan for geochemical monitoring to 


water 






• Seepage could increase temporarily from 




Creek and the added area 


created and potential for 


identify non-inert waste rock 








the historic tailings 




of steep slopes of 


erosion would be 


• Develop plan to special handle non-inert waste rock prior 








• Increased sedimentation could occur 




expanded NWRD 


increased 


to placement in the WRDs. See mitigation under 








during large precipitation events 




• Cottonwood Spring would 




groundwater resources, waste rock dumps. 








• Low potential for acid mine drainage 




be buried by the expanded 
NWRD 




Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 




Water Resources - 


Mine Pit 


• Water would be collected in pit and then 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Drainage patterns 


Surface Water 




drain into Fools Gulch 

• About 15 acres of Yarnell Creek drainage 
would be diverted to Fools Gulch 

• Sediment loads could be increased, but 
water quality should not be degraded 


conditions 






• Water collected in pit would be used for dust suppression 
during operations 

• Final grading of pit would facilitate drainage and a 
sediment retention pond would be constructed, if needed 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 


permanently altered 
• Pit would collect water from 
surface and groundwater 
flows during operations 


Water Resources - 


Roads and Other 


• Drainage patterns would be permanently 


No effect on existing 


Roads and other disturbance 


Roads and other disturbance 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


Permanent diversions would 


Surface Water 


Disturbances 


altered but would have little impact on 


conditions 


would differ slightly but 


would differ slightly but 


• NPDES storm water discharge permit requirements 


alter existing drainage patterns 






water quality 




impacts would be similar to 


impacts would be similar to 


• Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan would 








• Peak flows and runoff may differ from 




proposed ac(ion 


proposed action 


be implemented 








undisturbed conditions 








• Reactive hazardous materials would be segregated 








• Sediment loads could be increased from 








• Design channels for minimum grade necessary to prevent 








large storm events 








erosion 

• Design armor for erosion control in susceptible areas 
Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 




Water Resources - 


Water Supply Wells 


• Water levels near Cottonwood Spring 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


None identified 


Surface Water 


and Pipelines 


could be lowered by 15 feet. 

• Cottonwood Spring could dry up or 
reappear downstream. Flows of streams 
and other springs would not be affected. 

• Water quality of streams and springs 
would not be affected. 


conditions 






• Pipeline crossings of desert washes would conform to wash 
or span wash using rigid pipe 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• See mitigation under Groundwater Resources, Water 
Supply Wells and Pipelines 





S-16 



Environmental 


Resource 
Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


Effects from Alternative 1 
(No Action) 


Effects from Alternative 2 
(Eliminate SWRD) 


Effects from Alternative 3 
(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Water Resources - 
Groundwater 


Heap Leach Facility 


• Flow or depth to groundwater should not 
be significantly affected 

• Minimal impact on quality due to facility 
design and low hydraulic conductivity 
and transmissivity of the system 

• The ADEQ required discharge impact 
analysis resulted in 75-acre area within 
which TDS would exceed background 
level 

• A catastrophic event could cause the 
release of contaminated solution that 
could degrade water and soil quality 
down-gradient of facility 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed 


action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• The heap leach facility is designed to meet prescriptive 
design criteria outlined in ADEQ BADCT manual (1996) 

• Leak detection system in pad and ponds 

• QA/QC testing and inspection during construction per APP 

• Daily operational and leak detection system monitoring per 
APP 

• Underdrain system would be constructed beneath facility 

• Detailed contingency plans if leakage is detected per APP 

• Groundwater monitoring would be conducted under ADEQ 
requirements 

• BLM and ADEQ would be notified of any leaks detected 

• If leak occurs, application of soliition above detection drain 
would be ceased and BLM and ADEQ would be consulted 
for continued solution application in other areas 

• Identify borrow source and quantity for composite liner 
system and estimate potential seepage through composite 
liner system 

• Document settlement estimates of fill under full heap load 
and make revisions, as necessary 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Confirm stability of initial lift of ore placed on pad and 
modify plans, as necessary 

• Review design of concrete sump for addition of leak 
detection system 


None identified 


Water Resources - 
Groundwater 


Waste Rock Dumps 


• Seepage from historic tailings to bedrock 
may increase slightly, but then decrease 
below current rates 

• Impacts to groundwater flow and 
occurrence would be negligible 

• Geochemical testing indicates waste rock 
is inert and impacts to water quality 
should be minimal 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Similar to proposed action 


Seepage from historic 
tailings would be unaffected 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• Ongoing geochemical testing of waste rock and 
contingency plan for handling non-inert waste rock per 
APP 

• Quarterly monitoring of Fools Giilch and Cottonwood 
Springs 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Add Well YMC-04 to the groundwater monitoring plan as 
a water quality observation point; not to be used as a 
compliance point 

• See mitigation under Surface Water Resources, Waste 
Rock Dumps 


None identified 



S-17 



Environmental 
Resource 










Effects from Alternative 3 






Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


(No Action) 


(Eliminate SWRD) 


(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Water Resources - 


Mine Pit 


• Pit water inflows would not be expected 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


Based on the results of the 


Groundwater 




to affect groundwater quantity and flow 
direction due to low yield and lack of 
hydraulic connection within the fracture 
flow system 
• No significant impacts are anticipated 
because little water ponding would be 


conditions 


! 




Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• See additional mitigation under Water Supply Wells below 


geochemical characterization, 
no residual effects are 
anticipated 






expected and geochemical testing 


















indicated that no acid generation would 


















• Permanent drawdown surrounding pit in 
MSA 














Water Resources - 


Water Supply Wells 


• Based upon pump test results, water 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


None identified 


Groundwater 




levels would decline adjacent to water 
supply wells, but no private wells would 
be affected. However, long-term 
pumping potentially could impact the 
Wilhite and Arrowhead Cafe wells 

• Based on modeling, drawdowns of 
approximately 5 feet at the Wilhite Well 
and 15 feet at Cottonwood Spring could 
occur after several years 

• Water levels would slowly recover after 
pumping is discontinued and return to 
near pre-mining levels about two years 
after cessation of operations 

• Well production would not affect ground- 
water quality 

• Cottonwood Spring could be impacted 
over the short term 


conditions 


! 




• Water supply from varied sources, acquisition of well permits 
and water leases 

• Groundwater levels would rebound after cessation of 
pumping 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Monitor Wells YMC-04 and YMC-01, Cottonwood Spring, 
the Wilhite Well and Arrowhead Cafe Well 

• Replacement of water supplies for private wells is a 
potential mitigation measure that the BLM would not have 
the authority to require — any effort to mitigate or replace 
private water supplies would be voluntary and not 
enforceable by the BLM 




Water Resources - 


Dry Stream-beds 


Proposed facilities would affect about 


No effect on existing 


About an additional 900 feet 


The NWRD would not fill 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


About 1,550 feet of waters of 


Waters of the U.S. 


and Desert Washes 


2,550 feet of streambed in the MSA, of 


conditions 


of streambed designated as 


about 900 feet of streambed 


• Reclamation of solution ponds and re-establishment of 


the U.S. would be permanently 






which 1,000 feet affected by the solution 




Waters of the U.S. would be 


delineated as Waters of the 


drainage 


impacted and an additional 






pond would be mitigated upon reclamation 




buried by the expanded 
NWRD 


U.S. 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• Would be determined by COE during 404 permitting 
process 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 


1,000 feet would be temporarily 
altered by construction and 
reclamation of the solution 
ponds 











Effects from Alternative 2 


Effects from Alternative 3 






Resource 


Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


(No Action) 


(Eliminate SWRD) 


(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Water Resources - 


Wetlands 


• Delineated wetlands along Yamell Creek 


No effect on existing 


• Cottonwood Spring and 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


None identified 


Waters of the U.S. 




and Fools Gulch would not be affected by 
project facilities 
• Pumping of water supply well YMC-04 
combined with pit dewatering may 
adversely impact Cottonwood Spring and 
the associated delineated wetland 


conditions 


approximately 800 feet of 
the Yamell Creek 
delineated wetland would 
be buried 
• An additional wetland 
area would be damaged by 
construction of the 
sediment retention 
structure and other activity 




• Fools Gulch and Cottonwood Spring would be monitored 
per APP requirements 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• YMC would develop a contingency plan and receive 
approval from the COE to mitigate impacts to the 
delineated wetland from any redaction in flow from 
Cottonwood Spring 

• Well YMC-01 would be monitored to determine effects 

• Use of Well YMC-04 would be suspended in the event of a 
substantial drawdown 




Vegetation 


Chaparral and 


• Disturbance of 182 acres of vegetation at 


No effect on existing 


• About 20 acres less 


• About 22 acres less 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Long-term loss of vegetation 




Desert Vegetation 


the mine site and an additional 18 acres 


conditions 


vegetation disturbed 


vegetation would be 


• Stabilization and revegetation of disturbed areas 


not returned to pre-mining 




Type 


along the pipeline corridor 




compared to proposed 


disturbed compared to the 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


productivity and diversity, 






• Permanent loss of about 7 acres of 




action 


proposed action 


Regulations or Policies: 


especially on steep slopes 






vegetation in the pit area 




• Destruction of a 0. 1 -acre 


• About 20 additional acres 


• None 


• Permanent loss of vegetation 






• Long-term loss of vegetative productivity 




delineated wetland 


would be reclaimed on 


Additional Recommended Mitigation 


in pit area 






and cover, especially on steep slopes 






steep slopes that would be 
difficult to establish 
productivity and diversity 
compared to the proposed 
action 


• None 




Vegetation 


Protected Plants 


1 6 species of plants protected by the 
Arizona Native Plant Law occur in areas 
that would be disturbed and could be 
impacted 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as above 


Same as above 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• Protected plants would be salvaged and transplanted to a 
nursery for replanting during reclamation 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 


None identified 


Wildlife 


Habitat Loss 


• Loss of 182 acres of habitat 


No effect on existing 


• Habitat disturbance 


Habitat disturbance reduced 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


• Loss of 1 82 acres of habitat 






• Elimination of current underground mine 


conditions ' 


reduced by about 20 acres 


by about 22 acres compared 


Regulations or Policies: 


displacing wildlife until 






workings habitat for bats 




compared to proposed 


to proposed action 


• None 


reclaimed areas return to pre- 






• Fragmentation of about 1 00 acres of 




action 




Additional Recommended Mitigation 


disturbance values 






undisturbed habitat 




• Loss of delineated 




• Exclude bats from mine workings prior to disturbance 


• Loss of bat roost habitat 






• Adverse effects on wildlife from 




wetland 




• Site clearance including but not limited to vegetation and 








increased competition in undisturbed 




• Sedimentation could 




topsoil removal and topsoil stockpiling on undisturbed 








areas 




affect habitat for lowland 
leopard frog and Arizona 
Southwestern toad 




habitat should avoid the time period when migratory birds 
are nesting and may have vulnerable eggs or young 





S-19 



Environmental 
Resource 


Resource 
Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


Effects from Alternative 1 
(No Action) 


Effects froiin Alternative 2 
(Eliminate SWRD) 


Effects from Alternative 3 
(Eliminate NWRII1 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Wildlife 


Direct Mortality 


• Less mobile species and bats could be 
killed by construction of mining activities 

• Loss of several dozen birds, reptiles and 
small mammals annually from exposure 
to CN solutions 

• Loss of animals struck by vehicles on 
mine roads 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• Netting or other means to restrict access to CN solution 

• Chain link-fencing around heap leach facility 

• Drip emitters reduce pooling and access to CN solution 
Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Addition of buried skirt on fencing and monitoring fence 
monthly 

• Use one-inch mesh netting to cover open CN solution 

• Efforts to clear bat habitation areas 


Direct mortality from access to 
CN solutions 


Wildlife 


Threatened, 
Endangered and 
Sensitive Species 


Desert tortoise and chuckwallas could be 
killed or injured by mining activities or 
activities along water supply corridor 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• Avoid activities when desert tortoise is active 

• Qualified biologist on site during clearance activity in 
category n desert tortoise habitat to monitor activity and 
avoid impacts 

• Security fence around facilities 

• Construct ramps across pipeline in category n and HI 
habitat 

• Employee training 

• No storage of food or trash along pipeline 

• Limit activities to those necessary 

• Inspect under vehicles 

• Report any injury or loss of tortoise 

• Compensation for desert tortoise habitat loss 
Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 


Desert tortoise and chuckwalla 
could be killed or injured 


Air Resources 


• Particulate Matter 
(PM.o) 

• Oxides of 
Nitrogen 

• Carbon Monoxide 

• Sulfur Dioxide 

• Hydrogen Cyanide 

• Mercury 


Total concentrations of each emission type 
would not exceed regulatory standards 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Total air quality impacts 
would be similar to or 
slightly less than those for 
the proposed action for each 
emission type 


Total air quality impacts 
would be similar to those 
for the proposed action for 
each emission type 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• Non-process dust emissions minimized by watering and 
application of chemical palliatives 

• Blast hole drills equipped with dust controls 

• Water sprays used at crushers and conveyor transfer points 

• Particulates from loading lime silo controlled by a fabric 
filter 

• Emissions of SO, minimized by using diesel fuel with 
maximum sulfur content of 0.05 percent 

• Hydrogen cyanide emissions minimized with use of drip 
emitters and maintaining pH z 10.5 

• Mercury and particulate emissions from carbon kiln and 
dore furnace controlled by a baghouse 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 


Short-term increases in 
emissions within regulatory 
limits 



S-20 











Effects from Alternative 2 








Resource 


Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


(No Action) 


(Eliminate SWRDl 


(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Air Resources 


Visibility 


Short-term, intermittent and localized 
visibility degradation may occur in the 
project vicinity during periods of high 
winds or very stable atmospheric conditions 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Short-term, intermittent 
visibility degradation 


Air Resources 


Public Health 


Risk of exposure to Hantavirus and Valley 
Fever from particulate emissions would be 
low 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


None identified 


Land Use, 


Conformance with 


• In conformance with BLM land use plan 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


Project would be inconsistent 


Transportation and 


BLM and County 


except tor VRM objectives 


conditions 






Regulations or Policies: 


with the county conceptual land 


Access 


Land Use Plans 


• Not in conformance with county 
conceptual plan 

• In conformance with Arizona law (ARS- 

1 1830) exempting mining facilities larger 
than 5 acres from county zoning 








• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 

i 
1 


use plan given the proximity of 
nearby residential areas 


Land Use, 


Land Use 


Conversion of project area from open 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as above 


Transportation and 


Compatibility 


space/wildlife habitat to mining resulting in 


conditions 










Access 




conflict with nearby residential areas 












Land Use, 


Access To and 


• Access to project area restricted 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


Short-term access restrictions 


Transportation and 


Within Project Area 


• 1 0-minute delays along State Highway 89 


conditions 






• YMC has developed a traffic control plan which would 




Access 




during blasting events 








minimize adverse effects from constrained emergency 
vehicle access to Yamell on Stat^ Highway 89 during 
blasting events 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 

Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Make blasting schedules and associated road closure 
periods available to the County Sheriffs Office and the 
general public 




Land Use, 


Grazing 


• Restricted access to 300 acres of 


No effect on existing 


Permanent loss of access to 


Same as proposed action 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


Loss of Tom Cat Tank 


Transportation and 




Congress allotment 


conditions 


Cottonwood Spring pool 




Regulations or Policies: 




Access 




• Loss of Tom Cat Tank stockpond 

• Short-term loss of access to Cottonwood 
Springs pool 








• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 




Land Use, 


Traffic Flow and 


• Effects from project-related traffic would 


No effect on existing 


Re-routing of a portion of 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Short-term slight increase in 


Transportation and 


Safety 


be minimal 


conditions 


Mina Road 






potential for accidents 


Access 




• Slight increase in potential for accidents 










1 



S-21 



Environmental 
Resource 


Resource 
Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


Effects from Alternative 1 
(No Action) 


Effects from Alternative 2 
(Eliminate SWRD) 


Effects from Alternative 3 
(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Visual Resources 


Conformance with 


• Strong visual contrast from 4 of 7 KOPs, 


No effect on existing 


• Overall visual effect 


• Overall visual effect 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


During operations and after 




VRM Objectives 


not in conformance with VRM objectives 


conditions 


would be slightly less than 


would be slightly greater 


• Proposed reclamation (e.g., contouring and revegetation) 


reclamation, project facilities 




and Effects on 


• Major sources of visual effect are mine 




proposed action since 


than proposed action since 


would reduce adverse effects 


(especially the pit) would cause 




Views 


pit and waste rock dumps 




SWRD would be 
eliminated 


SWRD would be larger 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• YMC would coordinate with BLM on tree planting 
program and color of facilities and pipeline 

• Lights would be shielded downward to reduce night time 
glare 


long-term visual effects for 
some residents of Glen Ilah area 
and travelers on State Highway 
89 


Cultural Resources 


Effect on Quality of 


• Historic Biedler Mine and Edgar Shaft 


• No impact from proposed 


• Biedler Mine site would 


Overall number of sites and 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Implementation of data 




Cultural Resources 


would be directly impacted, but these 


action 


not be disturbed 


isolated occurrences that 


• All cultural resources except Yamell Overlook have been 


recovery plan at the Yamell 




and Eligibility for 


resources have been fully documented 


• Deterioration of the sites 


• The overall number of 


would be destroyed would 


fully documented, mapped and photographed 


Overlook site would greatly 




NRHP Listing 


• Yarnell Overlook, a historic Native 


would continue 


sites and isolated 


be reduced compared to 


Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


reduce or eliminate potential 






American site, would not be directly 


• Alteration or destruction 


occurrences destroyed 


proposed action, but 


Regulations or Policies: 


effects on cultural resources 






impacted but adverse effects could occur 


of sites could result from 


would be reduced 


resources have been fully 


• Yarnell Overlook site would be mitigated through 


• Overall residual effects would 






from artifact collection or site disturbance 


mining exploration and 


compared to proposed 


documented 


development and implementation of a data recovery plan 


be negligible 






• Mina-Genung Road is NRHP-eligible, 


actions of recreationalists 


action, but resources have 




• Prescott- Yavapai Tribe and other Yavapai communities 








but would not be impacted (outside 




been fully documented 




would be given opportunity to participate in the study of 








disturbance area) 




and little additional 




Yarnell Overlook 








• Historic Yarnell Mine site would be 




information would be 




Additional Recommended Mitigation 








affected, but has poor integrity and 




gained 




• None 








identified cultural resources are 




• Relocation of the eligible 












documented 




Mina-Genung Road 
would affect its integrity 
of place (one of the 
qualities making it 
eligible), a significant 
impact to this site 








Noise 


Increased Noise 


• Major increase in noise levels in areas 


No effect on existing 


Higher noise levels at one 


Reduced noise levels at two 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Major short-term increase in 




Levels 


adjacent to mine site 


conditions 


receptor location compared 


receptors compared to the 


• Certain equipment choices and location of crusher and 


noise levels in areas adjacent 






• Increases at some receptors in Glen Hah 




to the proposed action 


proposed action 


processing plant behind a ridge would minimize associated 


to mine site 






would exceed EPA's criteria for human 








noise effects to residential areas 








health and welfare 








Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 

Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 






























• Construction of earthen berms or barriers if shown to be 
















feasible and effective in blocking noise from traffic on haul 
roads 





Environmental 
Resource 


Resource 
Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


Effects from Alternative 1 
(No Action) 


Effects from Alternative 2 
(Eliminate SWRD) 


Effects from Alternative 3 
(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Blasting 


Ground Motion 


Ground motion would not occur at a level 
to cause damage to the nearest residences 
and other structures 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• YMC would voluntarily comply with OSM regulations 
designed to prevent property damage and safety hazards 
from blasting 

• Preblast surveys would be conducted for nearby dwellings 
and structures 

• Airblasts would be limited to 129 decibels 

• Ground motion would be monitored and controlled 
Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• YMC should not increase quantity of explosives detonated 
per eight milli-second delay above the maximum obtained 
from scaled distance formula 


Effects of airblast, vibration 
and traffic delays would cause 
annoyance during mine life 


Blasting 


Flyrock. Dust and 
Gas 


• Flyrock would be a hazard mainly to 
mine personnel and equipment 

• Off-site damage would be unlikely 

• Dust from blasting would dissipate but 
would be noticeable to residences 

• Carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides 
would result from blasting, but these 
gases would dissipate quickly 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• Highway closure plan with specific responsibilities 

• Blasts engineered to minimize ejection of flyrock, dust and 
gas 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Same as above 


Same as above 


Blasting 


Annoyance 


• Vibration, airblast and traffic delays 
would cause annoyance to persons near 
the mine site 

• Degree of effect would be subjective 


No effect on existing 
conditions 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 

• Blasting times generally limited to daylight hours 

• Use of a noiseless detonating cord or burying detonating 
cord would reduce airblast 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• YMC could further limit its blasting times and confine 
blasting periods to higher community activity periods, 
thereby reducing degree of annoyance 

• Blasting in poor atmospheric conditions would be avoided 

• Closure times would be posted along State Highway 89 and 
made available to County Sheriff's office 

• Road closure signs would be posted on a flat road segment 
downhill from the mine to alleviate hazard of trucks parked 
on a steep grade 


Same as above 



S-23 



















Resource 


Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


(No Action) 


(Eliminate SWRD) 


(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Blasting 


Falling Rocks and 


• Blasting operations could increase rock 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


Same as above 




Boulders 


movement and add to the existing falling 
rock problem along State Highway 89 
• Degree of hazard is unknown, but no 
property damage would be expected and 
potential hazards should not increase near 
Glen Hah residences 


conditions 






• Slope monitoring 

• Pre-blast surveys 

• Heavy equipment on standby to remove debris 
Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• Slope monitoring plan would be enhanced and hazardous 
areas identified, monitored and blast vibration controlled 
near these areas 




Hazardous 


Spill and Exposure 


Minor increase in potential effects to the 


No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• With proper implementation 


Materials 


Potential 


public and environmental resources such as 
water, air, vegetation and wildlife 


conditions 


j 




• YMC has incorporated measures into its proposed plans to 
control potential effects from hazardous materials including 
cyanide (e.g., employee training, site security, fire 
protection, emergency response plan, contingency plan, 
spill prevention plan) 

• APP permit (to be obtained from ADEQ) provisions would 
protect groundwater 

Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 
Regulations or Policies: 

• None 

Additional Recommended Mitigation 

• None 


of YMC plans, residual 
effects would be negligible. 
However, the potential for 
project-related accidents 
involving hazardous materials 
cannot be totally eliminated 
through implementation of 
these plans 


Socioeconomics 


Study Area and 


• Socioeconomic effects would occur in 


• No effect on existing 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


YMC Proposed Mitigation: 


• Same as those projected for 




Assumptions 


both Yavapai and Maricopa counties 


economic conditions 






• YMC has developed a written policy to maximize local 


the proposed action since 






• Primary study area is Yarnell because it is 


• Lost opportunity for 






hiring and training, thereby limiting the potential for a large 


potential effects were 






more vulnerable to growth 


expanded employment 






proportion of inmigrating employees and their families 


identified with local hire rate 






• ESTIMATES BELOW ARE WITH 


and income 






Additional Mitigation Required by Current Laws, 


of 80 percent (used in base 






BASE CASE ASSUMPTIONS SPREAD 


• Existing conflict over 






Regulations or Policies: 


case assumptions) 






OVER ENTIRE TWO-COUNTY 


social and economic pros 






• None 


• If base case assumptions do 






STUDY AREA (YAVAPAI AND 


and cons of mining will 






Additional Recommended Mitigation 


not occur, actual residual 






MARICOPA COUNTIES) 


remain for some period of 
time 






• None 


effects would be different 
than those projected here 


Socioeconomics 


Employment 


• An estimated 100 construction and 91 
operations direct workers 

• Peak of 44 indirect workers 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as above 


Socioeconomics 


Income 


An estimated $3.9 million annually in total 
direct and indirect income during 
operations phase 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as above 


Socioeconomics 


Population 


• An estimated 36 new residents during 
construction 

• 74 new residents during operations 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as above 



S-24 



Environmental 
Resource 


Resource 
Subtopic/Issue 


Effects from Proposed Action 


Effects from Alternative I 
(No Action) 


Effects from Alternative 2 
(Eliminate SWRD) 


Effects from Alternative 3 
(Eliminate NWRD) 


Mitigation and Monitoring 


Residual Effects 


Socioeconomics 


Housing 


• Need for an estimated 24 additional units 
during construction 

• 26 units needed during operations 

• Some properties near mine site may drop 
in value 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as above 


Socioeconomics 


Demand for Public 
Services 


• Negligible increase in new demand for 
public services because population 
increases over large study area are small 

• Largest effect may be in area of public 
safety services in Yarnell area 
(responsibility of County Sheriffs 
Office) 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as above 


Socioeconomics 


Tax Revenues 


• YMC would pay severance, property, 
income and sales taxes - revenues from 
project should cover any new public 
sector costs 

• Since Yamell is in unincorporated 
Yavapai County, the county would be the 
primary affected jurisdiction 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 




Same as those projected for the 
proposed action 


Socioeconomics 


Social Effects/ 
Quality of Life 


Major adverse effects on some residents' 
perceived quality of life - effects would 
vary among persons and be based on group 
and individual values, goals and beliefs 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


Same as above 


Same as those projected for the 
proposed action 


Socioeconomics 


Environmental 
Justice 


• Projected effects would be greater in 
areas closer to the mine, which do not 
include any specifically identified 
minority or low-income populations 

• Any minority or low-income persons or 
groups would not be disproportionately 
affected 


Same as above 


Same as proposed action 


Same as proposed action 


No mitigation needed 


None 



S-25 



CHAPTER 1 

INTRODUCTION 



1.0 INTRODUCTION 



The Phoenix Field Office (formerly the Phoenix 
District Office until 1997) of the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) received a proposed Mining Plan 
of Operations (MPO) from the Yarnell Mining 
Company (YMC), a subsidiary of Bema Gold (U.S.) 
Incorporated, in December 1994. The MPO outlined 
the Yarnell Project, which would consist of surface 
mining and ore processing facilities to recover gold 
near the town of Yarnell in Yavapai County, Arizona 
(see Figure 1-1 ). In response to the BLM's comments, 
refined versions of the MPO were submitted in March 
1 996 and November 1996. The BLM has assigned the 
MPO case file number AZA-29237 in its serialized 
case recordation system. 

This draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
describes the possible environmental consequences of 
the proposed Yarnell Project. The MPO and other 
supporting documents and letters represent the 
proposed action analyzed in this EIS. This chapter 
includes an explanation of the purpose and need for the 
project and for agency preparation of the EIS. a brief 
description of the proposed action, descriptions of the 
roles of the major regulatory agencies in the 
environmental analysis or permitting process and a 
summary of the potentially significant issues and 
concerns expressed by the public during project scoping. 



a precious metal for which there is worldwide demand. 
The proposed action would involve the extraction and 
processing of ore to produce dore bars, a marketable 
commodity, in a profitable manner. Over the proposed 
six-year mine life, the project would produce 
approximately 1 80,000 troy ounces of gold. 

Prior to construction and operation of the Yarnell 
Project, approval must be granted by the BLM because 
part of the proposed operation is on federal land 
administered by the BLM. YMC owns or controls 
mining claims on these lands. Under provisions of the 
U.S. mining laws (30 U.S. Code 21-54). the holder of 
valid mining claims has the statutory right to enter and 
use such lands for prospecting, exploration, 
development or processing of mineral resources in 
accordance with applicable regulations. YMC has the 
legal right to mine and process these gold resources 
through submittal of an MPO. The BLM cannot 
approve the MPO if the proposed action would result 
in "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the federal 
land. An environmental impact analysis is required to 
make this determination. Absent a finding of 
"unnecessary or undue degradation," the decision to be 
made by the BLM is to authorize or modify the 
proposed action. 



1.1 PURPOSE AND NEED 

The purpose of YMC's proposed action is to 
develop and operate an open-pit gold mine and ore 
processing facility, known as the Yarnell Project, to 
produce an economically marketable product. Gold is 



1.2 THE EIS PROCESS 

This draft EIS documents the process used by the 
BLM to make a decision on the proposed mining and 
processing operation. Its purpose is to provide a full 
and objective disclosure of environmental impacts and 
to inform the decisionmakers and the public of 



|93| 
YAVAPAI CO (71 ) 


PRESCOTT • 

I 69 ) 
I 89 | 
/YARNELL YARN ELL ! 

*— PROJECT 


MARICOPA <~<^_ 
60 


,89 1/ 

PHOENIX 




i l6 °V 

1851 i -~^$-" 


. 


m J 1 89 1 




PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 



FIGURE 1-1 
PROJECT LOCATION MAP 



[-2 



reasonable alternatives which would reduce or avoid 
adverse impacts. The National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) directs federal agencies to use a 
systematic and interdisciplinary approach to 
environmental impact analysis and requires that if any 
action taken by a governmental agency may 
"significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment," an EIS must be prepared. Because of 
proximity to and potentially significant impacts on the 
nearby community, the BLM has determined that an 
EIS is required to analyze possible effects from the 
proposed project. 

This draft EIS has been prepared to meet the 
regulations to implement NEPA adopted by the Council 
on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (40 CFR Parts 
1500-1508), BLM Manual 1790 and policies and 
procedures adopted by the BLM to implement NEPA 
as described in its NEPA Handbook (BLM Handbook 
H- 1790-1). 

As summarized in Figure 1-2. the EIS process 
entails several steps. During scoping, the public and 
other governmental agencies are afforded the 
opportunity in public meetings to express concerns and 
identify issues to be addressed in the draft EIS. 
Written comments are also solicited. Following 
scoping, the proposed action and reasonable 
alternatives to the proposed action are clearly defined, 
based on BLM concerns and information presented by 
other agencies and the public. Elements of the 
environment which would be affected by the proposed 
action and alternatives are described in the EIS. An 
analysis of the consequences (impacts) of the proposed 
action and alternative actions is then conducted. 

The results of the analysis are documented in the 
draft EIS. A formal public review and comment period 



occurs after publication of a draft EIS, during which 
time written and oral comments and questions on the 
analysis are solicited. One or more public meetings 
during this comment period afford an additional 
opportunity for public participation. Comments and 
questions received during the public comment period 
are reviewed, analyzed and incorporated into the final 
EIS as appropriate. 

In a final EIS, the BLM may modify alternatives, 
and substantive public comments are considered and 
addressed. When a decision has been reached, the 
BLM must issue a record of decision documenting the 
decision made and the reasons for such a decision. 

The proposed mining operation would include 
facilities on federal, state and private lands. The scope 
of this EIS includes all areas that could be affected by 
the project, regardless of land ownership. However, 
the BLM has authority to regulate activities or impose 
mitigation measures only on federal land. 



1.3 THE PROPOSED ACTION AND 
SETTING 

The Yarnell deposit is in the Weaver Mountains of 
Yavapai County, Arizona. The property is one-half 
mile south of the town of Yarnell and one-quarter mile 
southeast of the Glen Ilah subdivision, as measured 
from the northwest boundary of the proposed project 
area to the southern boundaries of Glen Ilah and 
Yarnell. The proposed project is in sections 14, 15. 22 
and 23 of Township 1 North, Range 5 West. The 
average elevation of the project area is about 4.800 feet 
above mean sea level (MSL). with a range of elevations 
from about 3,200 feet to 6,000 feet MSL. 



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1-4 



The area has a history of previous mining activity. 
The Yarnell gold deposit was first discovered in the 
late 1800s. By 1914. underground development had 
progressed to 160 feet helow the surface and 
approximately 250.000 tons of ore had been delineated. 
The mine was temporarily closed in 1916. By 1936. a 
70-ton-per-day flotation and cyanide mill was operating 
on site. The mill capacity was increased to 1 25 tons 
per day in 1940. Mining ceased in 1942, due to 
passage of the War Measures Act. For the next 40 
years or so. there was only minor activity at the Yarnell 
Mine. The proposed mining area has incurred 
extensive surface disturbance from these historic 
exploration, mining and ore processing activities. 

As shown in Table 1-1, disturbance would include 
approximately 1 1 8 acres on 30 unpatented claims 
(public land) and 75 acres on five patented claims held 
by YMC and other private land. An additional 7.7 
acres of state of Arizona land would be disturbed as 
part of the water supply. Total disturbance would be 
about 201 acres. About 14 acres ( 1 1 acres on patented 
claims owned by YMC and three acres of public land) 
of proposed Yarnell Project disturbance would occur 



on land previously disturbed by historic mining 
operations. An estimated 294 acres would be within a 
perimeter fence constructed to restrict access by 
wildlife and the public. 

As proposed by YMC. the Yarnell deposit would be 
mined using a conventional open-pit mining method. 
Mining activities are planned to occur 24 hours per 
day, five days per week. Blasting would occur twice 
each week during daylight hours on weekdays. Mined 
ore would be hauled from the Yarnell pit directly to the 
crusher and ore stockpile area adjacent to the east side 
of the heap leach facility. Ore would be fed to a two- 
stage crushing plant or stockpiled and crushed later. 
The crushed ore would be either hauled to the heap 
leach pad and stacked in 20-foot lifts or stockpiled near 
its crusher for later transport to the leach pad. Waste 
rock would be hauled to either the North Waste Rock 
Dump (NWRD) or the South Waste Rock Dump 
(SWRD). 

Additional proposed facilities include storage ponds 
and the adsorption, desorption and recovery (ADR) 
plant. The storage ponds include pregnant and barren 



TABLE 1-1 
Yarnell Project Summary of Projected Disturbance 



Project Component 


Projected Disturbance Area (acres) 




Public Land 
(BLM) 


Public Land 
(State Trust) 


Private Land 


Total 


Yarnell Pit 

North Waste Rock Dump 

South Waste Rock Dump 

Heap Leach Facility 

Solution Storage Ponds/ADR Plant 

Roads/Buildings/Storage 

Sediment Control/Diversion 

Well Field/Pipeline 

Microwave Stations Relocation 


4.8 
11.7 
33.3 
35.3 

7.4 
18.7 

0.3 

6.5 


7.7 


32.9 
10.1 
15.3 
5.2 
0.0 
5.6 
0.2 
4.3 
1.5 


37.7 
21.8 
48.6 
40.5 

7.4 
24.3 

0.5 
18.5 

1.5 


TOTAL 


118.0 


7.7 


75.1 


200.8 



1-5 



solution ponds and a storm water pond. The ADR 
plant would be between the pregnant and barren 
solution ponds. As planned, the ADR plant includes 
the adsorption circuit, along with stripping, acid 
washing, electrowinning and smelting facilities. 
Crusher operations, together with pad loading, are 
planned for 24 hours per day, five days per week. 
Leaching and metal recovery activities would occur 
continuously. 

Proposed project infrastructure and support 
facilities include an administrative office, mine shop, 
assay lab, warehouse and storage facilities, power 
distribution and water supply facilities, haul roads and 
access roads. Sediment control and diversions include 
diversion channels and sediment retention structures at 
the NWRD and SWRD. Other proposed facilities 
include the well field and pipelines. 

All facilities, except water supply wells and the 
water transport pipelines, would be at the project site. 
Most power requirements would be supplied by on-site 
generators, with power to the mine office and 
maintenance facility supplied by Arizona Public 
Service. Water would be obtained from local and 
regional groundwater sources and transported to the 
mining/processing area via proposed pipelines. 

The proposed production schedule calls for mining 
and processing 1 .200,000 tons of ore per year. Annual 
gold production, over an approximate six-year mine 
life, would average 30.000 troy ounces. Reclamation 
and closure activities (including monitoring) would 
take seven years following the end of operations. 



1.4 REGULATORY FRAMEWORK 

The BLM. other federal agencies, state agencies and 
Yavapai County have regulatory responsibilities in 
reviewing and approving the proposed Yarnell Project. 
Applicable permit and regulatory compliance 
responsibilities are summarized below and in Table 1-2. 

1.4.1 RELATIONSHIP TO BLM POLICIES, 
PLANS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

In addition to its NEPA responsibilities as discussed 
above, the BLM must consider other policies, plans and 
responsibilities in reviewing the Yarnell Project MPO, 
as summarized below. 

1.4.1.1 Federal Land Policy and Management Act 

The lands to be affected by the proposed project 
include public land administered by the BLM. The 
BLM policies, plans, programs and responsibilities, 
based on the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, recognize that public 
lands are an important source of the nation's mineral 
and energy resources. The BLM is responsible for 
making public land available for a wide range of uses, 
including the orderly and efficient development of 
mineral and energy resources. 

1.4.1.2 Conformance with Existing Land Use Plan 

The proposed Yarnell Project is in the area 
addressed under the BLM*s Lower Gila North 
Management Framework Plan (MFP) (BLM 1981). 
The BLM conducted a planning process designed to 
accommodate appropriate uses and to describe 
allowable uses in the planning area. Mineral resource 
development on the site of the proposed Yarnell Project 



1-6 



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would be in conformance with the MFP. MFP 
recommendation M-2.1 states that the area should be 
left open for potential mineral exploration and 
development. 

1.4.1.3 U.S. Mining Laws and BLM Regulations 

U.S. mining laws (General Mining Law of 1872, 
Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1 960 and Mining 
and Mineral Policy Act of 1 970) and the regulations by 
which they are enforced recognize the statutory right of 
mining claim holders to develop mineral resources on 
federal land. The responsibilities for reviewing an 
MPO are spelled out in BLM regulations (43 CFR Part 
3809; Surface Management Under the General Mining 
Laws). Submission of an MPO for the Yarnell Project 
initiated the NEPA compliance process which requires 
the BLM, the lead federal agency, to evaluate 
environmental concerns during review of the MPO. 

The BLM is required by federal regulations to 
approve an MPO if it would not cause "unnecessary or 
undue degradation" to the public land (43 CFR 
3809.0-6). Unnecessary or undue degradation was not 
defined in FLPMA, but is defined in the BLM mining 
regulations at 43 CFR 3809.0-5(k). Generally, 
unnecessary or undue degradation applies under one or 
more of the following conditions. 



♦ failure to comply with applicable environmental 
statutes and regulations. 

The BLM must consider both the inherent right to 
mine under the mining laws and the right to mine under 
FLPMA subject to the prevention of unnecessary or 
undue degradation of the land. These laws also 
recognize that the standard mining practices of the 
industry for a certain mineral commodity are 
"necessary and due" in terms of their surface 
disturbance. The BLM must allow mining operations 
to proceed as long as the operator can demonstrate that 
the operation does not cause unnecessary or undue 
degradation. Plans of operation cannot be approved if 
undue or unnecessary degradation cannot be 
successfully mitigated. 

Overall, the BLM*s role in evaluating the proposed 
action is to ensure that mineral development needs (as 
expressed in the General Mining Law) are met in a 
manner that prevents undue or unnecessary degradation 
(as expressed in FLPMA) to the lands involved. The 
BLM may place operating conditions on the project to 
minimize environmental impacts on public lands. A 
final determination as to the adequacy of the proposed 
mine plan, or a preferred alternative, in preventing 
unnecessary or undue degradation will be made by the 
BLM in its Record of Decision (ROD). 



♦ surface disturbance greater than what would 
normally result when activity is being 
accomplished by a prudent operator in usual, 
customary and proficient operations of similar 
character; 

♦ failure to initiate and complete reasonable 
mitigating measures to reduce adverse impacts 
to surface resources on public land, or failure to 
provide for effective reclamation; or 



1.4.1.4 Reclamation Requirements 

The Mining and Mineral Policy Act of 1970 
(MMPA) states that the federal government should 
promote the "development of methods for the disposal, 
control, and reclamation of mineral waste products, and 
the reclamation of mined land, so as to lessen any 
adverse impact of mineral extraction and processing 



1-4 



upon the physical environment that may result from 
mining or mineral activities." 

The BLM's long-term reclamation goals are to 
shape, stabilize, revegetate or otherwise treat disturbed 
areas to provide a self-sustaining, safe and stable 
condition that conforms to the approved land-use plan 
for the area. The BLM ( 1 992a) has prepared a Solid 
Minerals Reclamation Handbook (H304 2-1) to provide 
consistent reclamation guidelines for all 
surface-disturbing activities, including mineral 
activities, conducted under BLM authority. The BLM 
will review the reclamation portion of the Yarnell 
Project MPO to ensure that the BLM's environmental 
protection responsibilities are carried out and will 
monitor reclamation activities on public land. 



for the state of Arizona (BLM 1992b). A minimum of 
four compliance inspections would be conducted 
annually by the BLM. Management plan 
considerations include the protection of surface and 
groundwater from leaks or spills of hazardous or toxic 
materials, the stability of operational components such 
as the waste rock dump and heap leach facility, and the 
protection of wildlife from exposure to cyanide. 
Additionally, regular inspections would ensure that the 
mining operation is in compliance with the approved 
MPO, the BLM*s Surface Management Regulations 
(43 CFR 3809), and regulations (43 CFR 3715) 
regarding use and occupancy under the mining laws. 

1.4.1.6 Concurrence with Use and Occupancy 
Regulations 



BLM regulations state that no mine operator or 
claimant shall initiate operations under a plan of 
operations without providing a financial guarantee for 
reclamation. The financial instrument must consist of 
cash, a cash equivalent (i.e., highly-rated securities or 
a surety bond) or an irrevocable letter of credit. In the 
case of the latter instrument, the bank or issuing entity 
would examine the financial health of the company 
before issuing such a letter. Before a company can 
begin operations, it must submit one of these types of 
financial guarantees. If the company cannot do so, it is 
not permitted to begin operations. The reclamation 
bond amount for the Yarnell Project has not yet been 
determined. Calculation of the amount must be 
certified by a third-party professional engineer 
registered to practice in Arizona. 

1.4.1.5 Cyanide Management Plan Requirements 

The BLM must assure that operations are in 
accordance with the BLM Cyanide Management Plan 



YMC is proposing a watchman, storage facilities 
and fencing of the property. These actions are 
governed by use and occupancy regulations at 43 CFR 
3715. The BLM's concurrence that YMC's plans 
conform with these regulations is a federal action 
which must be considered in the NEPA analysis. To 
conform with these regulations. YMC must propose the 
uses and occupancy to the BLM. The BLM would 
review this proposal and determine if the use and 
occupancy meet the regulatory provisions. 

All uses and occupancies must conform to all 
applicable federal, state or local environmental 
standards. Further, the occupancy must meet all Mine 
Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
(OSHA) and state mine safety rules. Mining and 
reclamation permits, to the extent that they are 
necessary for the activity at hand, must be in place. 



1-10 



1.4.2 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER 

GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES, PLANS 
AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

In addition to the BLM, other federal, state and 
local agencies have responsibilities in reviewing the 
proposed Yarnell Project. Non-BLM reviews, permits 
and approvals necessary for Yarnell Project 
implementation are described below. 

1.4.2.1 Federal Agency Responsibilities 

Environmental Protection Agency. In conj unction 
with its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act and 
NEPA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
participating as a "cooperating agency" in the 
preparation of this EIS. The EPA administers the 
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 
(NPDES) program for Arizona. This program, 
developed as part of the Clean Water Act, requires that 
industrial facilities that discharge storm water directly 
into surface waters of the U.S. obtain a permit from the 
EPA's Region IX office in San Francisco, California. 
YMC has applied for an individual NPDES permit for 
discharge of mine drainage (storm water that would 
contact pit and waste rock) and for coverage of storm 
water discharges associated with an industrial activity 
under the multi-sector general permit for industrial 
activities. 

Required storm water provisions include practices 
to monitor, report and prevent storm water pollution. 
The effluent limitation guidelines are described in 40 
CFR Part 440 and include New Source Performance 
Standards. 

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to issue permits 



"for the discharge of dredged or fill materials into 
navigable waters." COE responsibilities for Section 
404 permits are addressed below. Guidelines 
promulgated by the EPA under Section 404(b)(1) 
generally prohibit the discharge of dredged or fill 
materials into "waters of the United States" unless it 
can be shown that the discharge is the least 
environmentally damaging practicable alternative to 
achieve the basic purpose of the proposed action. The 
EPA is responsible for reviewing the consistency of 
COE's proposed 404 action with Section 404(b)(1) 
guidelines. 

Additionally, the EPA is responsible for reviewing 
the state-issued air quality permit pursuant to the Clean 
Air Act. A spill prevention control and 
countermeasures (SPCC) plan required by 40 CFR 1 1 2 
will be prepared and placed on file at the facility for 
on-site EPA review. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As mentioned 
above, the discharge or placement of dredged or fill 
material into waters of the U.S. is prohibited by Section 
301 of the Clean Water Act unless carried out under a 
permit issued by the COE under Section 404 of the 
Act. Waters of the U.S. include drainages with a 
defined bed and bank and wetlands adjacent or 
tributary to waters of the U.S. The proposed project 
would affect waters of the U.S. and a 404 permit would 
be required. Prior to issuing a permit, the COE must 
consult with the EPA. the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) and the State Historic Preservation 
Office (SHPO). 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The USFWS 

administers the Endangered Species Act. If necessary, 
the BLM would prepare a biological assessment to 
comply with Section 7 of the Act. However, when 



there are no threatened or endangered species in the 
project area, no formal assessment is required. 
Consultation between the BLM and the USFWS could 
occur on other issues such as proposed threatened and 
endangered species or designated or proposed critical 
habitat areas. Consultation could also be required for 
future listings of threatened or endangered species if 
the mine was approved and in operation. 

Mine Safety and Health Administration. 

Regulations to protect worker health and safety are set 
forth by MSHA and OSHA. Other health and safety 
considerations include the protection of surface and 
groundwater from leaks or spills of hazardous or toxic 
materials and the stability of operational components 
such as the waste rock dumps and heap leach facilities. 
In addition, MSHA requires rigid employee training on 
the handling of reagents and process solutions and 
includes provisions for monitoring worker exposure 
levels. 

1.4.2.2 State Agency Responsibilities 

Arizona is one of several states that does not have 
a formal mine permitting process which includes 
analysis of a proposed mining operation. The state 
regulatory agencies responsible for specific issues, i.e., 
air and water quality, are discussed below. 

Arizona Department of Agriculture. The Arizona 
Department of Agriculture has jurisdiction over the 
salvage or removal of plants protected by the Arizona 
Native Plant Law. 

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. 

The Air Quality Division (AQD) of the Arizona 
Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has 
jurisdiction over air quality aspects of mining projects. 



YMC has submitted a Class II Air Installation Permit 
(AIP) application for the Yamell Project to AQD- 
ADEQ. This application required identification of all 
applicable local, state and federal air quality 
regulations; the description of all potential air emission 
sources, emission control measures and an inventory to 
measure emission levels; the prediction of potential air 
quality impacts using dispersion modeling techniques; 
the evaluation of potential impacts with respect to the 
applicable standards and regulations; and the 
development of a compliance plan to certify 
compliance with all permit conditions, limitations and 
requirements. Upon issuance, the AIP will specify 
emission controls, limitations and standards as well as 
requirements for monitoring, record keeping and 
reporting. 

Water quality issues for mine developments in 
Arizona fall under the jurisdiction of the ADEQ. The 
ADEQ is responsible for ensuring that the proposed 
mineral processing operation is adequately designed to 
prevent contamination of groundwater. YMC has 
submitted an application and Facility Design Report for 
an Aquifer Protection Permit ( APP). Detailed baseline 
geochemical information on groundwater quality, as 
well as the acidification potential, leachability and 
chemical characteristics of ore and waste, were 
included with the APP application. In addition, the 
associated Facility Design Report included detailed 
geotechnical engineering reports and drawings 
specifying the design of the systems, the materials to be 
used, the construction methods to be employed and the 
quality control and assurance programs to be 
implemented. Upon issuance, the ADEQ would 
specify the design, operational, monitoring and closure 
requirements for the project. 



1-12 



Finally, the ADEQ is also responsible for protecting 
surface water quality and, under the provisions of the 
Clean Water Act, would require a 401 certificate 
describing any impacts to streams during construction 
and operation of the proposed project. This permit 
must describe the potential impact and present 
mitigation measures designed to protect water quality 
during operation and following closure of the proposed 
mine. 

The ADEQ has guidelines for Best Available 
Demonstrated Control Technologies (BADCT), as 
outlined in ADEQ (1996), to define appropriate 
engineered controls on facilities for containment of 
process solutions and minimization of impact on 
groundwater. The design of containment features 
associated with the Yarnell Project would be required 
to meet or exceed ADEQ BADCT prescriptive design 
standards. 

State Historic Preservation Office. The BLM 

consults with the SHPO when an undertaking could 
affect archaeological or other cultural resources that are 
eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places (NRHP). Under Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act, evaluations of NRHP 
eligibility and effect are required. If the proposed 
action or an alternative is approved, the BLM would 
consult with the SHPO regarding the implementation of 
appropriate mitigation measures. The BLM would 
oversee compliance with mitigation measures. 

Arizona State Mine Inspector. Yarnell Project 
operations would need to comply with the Arizona 
Mining Code. These regulations have safety 
requirements that are separate from federal MSHA 
requirements. The Arizona Mining Code requires that 
supervisors and employees who work where cyanide is 



used or stored be trained in a cyanide safety course 
conducted by the State Mine Inspector. The State Mine 
Inspector also oversees blasting and related safety 
procedures. The State Mined Land Reclamation Bill, 
administered by the Mine Inspector' s Office, prescribes 
reclamation and financial assurance requirements for 
mining operations on private land. Final regulations 
went into effect in April 1997. 

Arizona Department of Transportation. YMC 

proposes to stop traffic on State Highway 89 during 
proposed blasting operations as a public safeguard. 
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) 
would require a permit to use the highway right-of- 
way. The permit would be issued by the ADOT 
Prescott District office and would include a detailed 
traffic control plan coordinating emergency services 
from Wickenburg to the town of Yarnell. 

Arizona Department of Water Resources. All 

wells drilled and completed for a project water supply, 
groundwater characterization or groundwater 
monitoring would be permitted with the Arizona 
Department of Water Resources ( AD WR). These wells 
would be constructed and decommissioned according 
to ADWR guidelines. 

Arizona State Land Department. One proposed 
water supply well is on State Trust land, while a 
portion of the water supply pipeline (extending from 
water supply wells south of the mining area to the 
mining/processing area) is planned across State Trust 
land. YMC must obtain approval from the State Land 
Department to purchase and withdraw water for 
mineral processing prior to any use. YMC must also 
obtain rights-of-way easement approvals from the State 
Land Department to access the proposed water supply 



well on State Trust land and to construct the pipeline 
corridor across State Trust land. 

Arizona Game and Fish Department. The Arizona 
Game and Fish Department (AGFD) has jurisdiction 
over native fish and wildlife species. The BLM is 
coordinating with the AGFD Region IV office in 
evaluating project impacts and appropriate mitigation 
measures. 

1.4.2.3 Yavapai County Responsibilities 

Yavapai County would have review and approval 
authority over some aspects of Yarnell Project 
development and operation including flood control and 
solid waste management. The County Planning 
Department would he the responsible agency for these 
elements. 

In accordance with state guidelines, YMC would 
file a Land Use Exemption with Yavapai County 
stipulating that property used for mining or metallurgy 
would be exempt from Yavapai County zoning 
requirements. Remaining permits to be obtained from 
Yavapai County would be limited to building permits 
for structures that are subject to the Uniform Building 
Code, but are not excluded as part of the Land Use 
Exemption. 

1.5 SIGNIFICANT ISSUES 

Scoping activities are an integral part of the 
environmental review process and were used to define 
the issues addressed in this EIS. Public participation in 
the scoping process serves to inform the public of the 
proposed action and to provide the public with the 
opportunity to identify environmental, social, cultural 
and economic issues and concerns. 



Public and agency comments at three scoping 
meetings and written comments submitted to the BLM 
during the 60-day scoping period generated a list of 
more than 300 specific comments and questions 
contained within about 200 letters and comment forms. 
The BLM prepared a scoping report (BLM 1996) to 
document the issue identification process. The scoping 
report included tables organizing the comments within 
issue categories. Comments received after the end of 
formal scoping were reviewed to determine if they 
raised new issues or concerns that could be identified 
as significant issues. The list of significant issues in 
Table 1-3, expressed largely in terms of potential 
impacts, was generated from the analysis of scoping 
comments and from resource-specific concerns 
identified by interdisciplinary team specialists. 

The regulations governing the EIS process require 
that lead agencies determine "the significant issues to 
be analyzed in depth in the environmental impact 
statement" and "identify and eliminate from detailed 
study the issues that are not significant" (40 CFR 
1501.7). 

Significant issues are evaluated in relation to several 
factors, including the potential severity of impacts; the 
duration or geographic scope of effects; the potential to 
violate environmental protection laws or regulations; 
and the degree of public interest in and conflict over 
the proposed project. The BLM identified the 
potentially significant issues for the proposed Yarnell 
Project through review of the public and agency 
comments on the proposal and discussions at a series of 
interdisciplinary team meetings in 1995 and 1996. 



1-14 



TABLE 1-3 
Significant Issues Raised During the Scoping Process 



Issue Category 


Issues 


Water Resources 


• Impacts on the quality of surface waters in the watershed, both during the life of the mine 
and after the mine closes 

• Potential changes to the quantity of surface water flows as a result of groundwater pumping 
by the mine 

• Impacts on the quality of groundwater and water in wells in Glen Ilah, Yarnell and the 
surrounding area, both during the life of the mine and after the mine closes 

• Potential for depletion of the water table and wells as a result of groundwater pumping 

• Potential accumulation of water in the mine pit and the quality of that water during the life 
of the mine and after the mine closes 


Air Quality 


• Impacts resulting from dust, fumes and chemical emissions 

• Potential for cyanide emission release 

• Public health issues associated with airborne transmission of diseases, dust or emissions 


Blasting 


• Impacts on the stability of natural features including boulders and aquifer systems 

• Potential for damage to residences, utility lines and roads 


Noise 


• Impacts on public health and the quality of life in nearby communities 


Visual Resources 


• Impacts on views from residences and Highway 89 during the life of the mine and after the 
mine closes 

• Effects of lighting on the night sky 


Public Safety and 
Transportation 


• Potential hazards created by truck traffic and the transport and storage of hazardous 
materials 

• Potential hazards to motorists from blasting 

• Effect of road closures on access to medical and emergency services by area residents 


Socioeconomic 
Conditions 


• Impacts on property values 

• Impacts on employment and income 

• Impacts on local businesses 

• Impacts on tourism 

• Impacts on tax revenues 

• Impacts on crime rates 

• Potential for increased demand on local services from possible influx of mine employees 

• Disruption of quality of life from noise, visual impacts, night lighting or other aspects of the 
mine operation 


Closure and 
Reclamation 


• Adequacy of bonding to ensure completion of reclamation 

• Effectiveness of proposed reclamation plan and monitoring measures 


Biological 
Resources 


• Impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitats 

• Impacts to threatened or endangered species 

• Potential wildlife mortality from exposure to hazardous substances 

• Impacts on vegetation including riparian zones along Antelope Creek 


Cultural Resources 


• Impacts on prehistoric or historic sites and roads 


Land Use 


• Impacts on livestock grazing, other land uses and access routes 



1-15 



1.6 ISSUES BEYOND THE SCOPE OF 

THIS EIS AND ELIMINATED FROM 

FURTHER DISCUSSION 

The scope of this EIS was established by the BLMs 
understanding of the proposed action and technical 
concerns, as well as the issues identified through verbal 
and written comments received from the public and 
commenting agencies during scoping. Some issues 
raised in the public scoping sessions are not addressed 
in this draft EIS for various reasons. Several items 
beyond the regulatory domain of the BLM are not 
within the scope of the EIS. They include generalized 
opinion (pro or con) about the proposed action without 
substantive comment on the potential effects of the 
action, the perceived need to change the Mining Law of 
1 872 and the perception that a foreign company would 
be exploiting American resources and moving the 
profits out of the U.S. 

The issue of federal mineral policy and regulation is 
beyond the scope of this EIS because, in the absence of 
Congressional action regarding the nation's existing 
minerals policy, the BLM must manage public land in 
compliance with current laws and regulations. With 
regard to mining corporations based in other countries 
conducting business in the U.S., the BLM cannot 
legally deny operations by a company based in another 
country if the operations comply with current laws and 
regulations. 



1.7 ORGANIZATION OF THE EIS 



This EIS is organized as follows. 



♦ Chapter 2 fully describes the proposed action 
and reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
action (including the no action alternative), 

♦ Chapter 3 describes the physical, biological and 
human resources that could be affected by the 
proposed action (information is based on field 
surveys, state permit applications and associated 
technical reports, the BLM and other agency 
files, interviews with BLM and other agency 
personnel and existing literature), 

♦ Chapter 4 analyzes the potential environmental 
consequences of development of the proposed 
action and reasonable alternatives to the 
proposed action, the significance of these 
consequences, potential mitigation measures to 
alleviate consequences, and residual effects after 
mitigation measures are applied, 

♦ Chapter 5 describes potential cumulative effects 
of the proposed project added to other past, 
present or reasonably foreseeable actions, 

♦ Chapter 6 consists of other analyses required by 
NEPA and/or CEQ regulations including 
unavoidable adverse impacts, irreversible and 
irretrievable commitments of resources and a 
comparison of short-term use versus long-term 
productivity of the proposed action, 

♦ Chapter 7 is a list of EIS preparers and their 
qualifications, 

♦ Chapter 8 provides a summary of consultation 
and coordination activities conducted for this 
EIS process, 

♦ Chapter 9 is a list of references used in the EIS, 

♦ Chapter 1 is a glossary of terms and acronyms 
used in this EIS and 

♦ Chapter 11 is an index of key words within this 
document. 



1-16 



CHAPTER 2 

ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING THE 
PROPOSED ACTION 



2.0 ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING THE PROPOSED ACTION 



This chapter describes the proposed action by 
YMC, three feasible alternatives including the no 
action alternative and a number of alternatives that are 
considered infeasible. It also includes a comparative 
summary of environmental impacts for the proposed 
action and the feasible alternatives; detailed analysis of 
those impacts is presented in Chapter 4. Additional 
details concerning the engineering and design of the 
proposed Yarnell Project are contained in the following 
technical documents: ( 1 ) the mining plan of operations 
(MPO) and (2) technical reports submitted to the 
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 
(ADEQ) for the aquifer protection permit (APP) and 
the air emissions permit. Significant changes to the 
mining operations described in this EIS and above- 
referenced technical documents must be approved by 
the BLM or ADEQ. Changes may require additional 
NEPA-related environmental analysis. 



2.1 THE YARNELL PROJECT AS 
PROPOSED BY YMC 

This section describes the major features of the 
proposed Yarnell Project. Major features include: 

♦ mine development, including drilling, blasting 
and ore/waste hauling, 

♦ waste rock dump development, 

♦ drainage and sediment control, 

♦ ore crushing and treatment, 

♦ water supply and transport system, 

♦ heap leaching, including the process solution 
application and recovery system. 

♦ solution processing and a gold recovery system, 



♦ gold refining, 

♦ access and haul roads, 

♦ buildings and miscellaneous facilities, 

♦ explosives, fuel and reagent storage, 

♦ fencing and security, 

♦ lighting and 

♦ closure/reclamation 

The projected disturbance area associated with the 
Yarnell Project was shown in Table 1-1, A project 
flow diagram is shown in Figure 2- 1 . with the proposed 
layout of facilities shown in Figure 2-2. Current land 
ownership among federal, state and private interests is 
also shown in Figure 2-2. Annual gold production 
would be about 30,000 troy ounces. 

As described in the Facilities Design Report 
(Section 3.4), specific procedures were used by YMC 
to site the key project facilities (e.g.. the heap leach and 
waste rock dumps) associated with the proposed action. 
Areas outside a two-mile radius from the ore body were 
excluded from consideration due to excessive haul 
distance which would result in high fuel use, high 
water use for dust suppression and high haulage costs. 
Within the two-mile radius, YMC excluded the 
following areas for consideration as major facility 
locations. 

♦ The communities of Yarnell and Glen Ilah. 

♦ Areas that would require haulage through the 
communities of Yarnell and Glen Ilah or on 
State Highway 89. 

♦ Areas of steep topography with extensive slopes 
in excess of 33 percent. 



2-1 





2-2 




PROPOSED PROJECT 
FACILITIES 



♦ The bottoms of major washes such as Yarnell 
Creek, Antelope Creek and Fools Gulch. 

♦ The delineated wetland along Yarnell Creek. 

♦ Privately owned surface lands. 

This process resulted in possible facility sites 
generally near the proposed mine site and to the south. 
Within this area, the following three sites were 
identified by YMC for detailed consideration as heap 
leach and waste rock dump sites. 



feasible, but would create a large visual impact. Use of 
the north site would cover existing mill tailings and 
disturbance from previous mining activity and would 
provide a flat area for parking and other facilities. 
Therefore. YMC is proposing disposal of waste rock at 
both sites. Based on the location of the heap leach 
facility and waste rock dumps, the remaining support 
facilities were sited by YMC as shown in Figure 2-2. 



2.1. 



MINING 



♦ A north site at the upper portion of the Yarnell 
Creek drainage basin, north of the mine site with 
a capacity to contain approximately 3.7 million 
tons of material. Capacity is limited by the 
elevation of the north end of the proposed pit, an 
existing gravel road and the delineated wetland 
in Yarnell Creek. 

♦ A south site at the head of Fools Gulch, 
southwest of the mine site, with the capacity for 
more than eight million tons of material. 

♦ A site at the head of a gently-sloping valley 
southeast of the mine, with the capacity for more 
than eight million tons of material. 

These three sites would be close to the proposed 
mine and would require relatively short roads and 
haulage, and runoff diversion and sediment control 
would be simplified since they are essentially at the 
head of the drainages. 

YMC conducted detailed engineering analyses of 
the suitability of the three sites as waste rock dumps or 
heap leach facilities. The southeast site with its 
shallow slopes was selected for the heap leach as it 
would facilitate leach pad construction and provide 
natural topographic containment for solutions. 
Disposal of all waste rock in the south site was 



The Yarnell ore deposit would be mined using 
conventional open-pit mining methods that include 
drilling (to create holes for blasting), blasting (to loosen 
ore and waste rock) and loading and hauling the waste 
rock and ore. Planned mining equipment includes a 
blast-hole drill, one front-end loader, four haul trucks, 
one motor grader, one water truck, one track dozer and 
support equipment. An additional haul truck and a 
second dozer and front-end loader would support 
crushing and pad loading activities. The mining 
operation as proposed would operate 24 hours per day, 
five days per week. Ore would be hauled directly to 
the crusher area and either dumped directly into the 
primary feed or stockpiled for later feeding by a loader 
or dozer. Equipment requirements are shown in 
Table 2-1. 

The pit would be developed in "benches," which are 
long, narrow, relatively level terraces breaking the 
continuity of a slope. Equipment used to collect, load 
and haul ore can be set, moved or operated on each 
bench. A 20-foot bench height and a maximum slope 
of 53 degrees were established as the primary pit 
design criteria. The 20-foot bench height was chosen 
to maximize the efficiency of the mining fleet. The 
Yarnell Mine, as proposed by YMC, would be 
developed with 29 benches in the pit. As described in 



2-5 



TABLE 2-1 
Proposed Project Equipment 



Utility flatbed 
Steam cleaner 

Tool carrier 

Caterpillar IT 28B 

Pickup trucks 

Crusher 

Jaw and cone 

Light plants 
6 kW - Diesel 

Generators 

820 kW 

365 kW 

113 kW 

25 kW 



Equipment 


Quantity 


Front-end loaders 

Caterpillar 990 wheel loader 
Caterpillar 988F wheel loader 


1 


Haul trucks 

Caterpillar 773B end dump 
Caterpillar 769C end dump 


4 

1 


Dozers 

Caterpillar D8N track-type tractor 


2 


Motor grader 

Caterpillar 16-G 


1 


Rotary blasthole drill 

Driltech D40K (5-3/4 inch to 6-3/4 inch diameter) 


1 


Water truck 
5,000 gallons 


1 


Backhoe 

Caterpillar 426 


1 


Maintenance vehicles 
Mechanic 2-Vz ton 


, 



Note. Equivalent equipment makes and models may be used. 



the MPO, the planned final dimensions of the pit would 
be about 1 .000 feet wide at the widest point and about 
2,200 feet long at its longest dimension. The deepest 



part of the pit would be 
elevation. 



about the 4,620-foot 



2-6 



Stability analyses were conducted by YMC for the 
pit geometry described above. These analyses were 
made using typical rock mass properties based on 
available descriptions of rock type, rock strength, 
weathering and the likely fracture orientation that 
would be encountered in the pit. Slope stability of both 
the hanging wall and foot wall was analyzed and the 
minimum static factor of safety was 2.07 and 1.94, 
respectively (see Chapter 10 for definitions of static 
and pseudostatic safety factors). 

The seismic stability of the mine pit was analyzed 
using pseudostatic methods. A pseudostatic coefficient 
of 0.10 g was used (where g is the acceleration of 
gravity). This coefficient represented seismic 
conditions in excess of a 250-year recurrence interval 
earthquake (or a more than 90 percent probability that 
an earthquake of larger magnitude would not occur 
within 250 years). The resulting pseudostatic analysis 
factors of safety ( 1 .67 for the foot wall and 1 .55 for the 
hanging wall) were above accepted criteria. 

2.1.1.1 Mineable Reserves 

The Yarnell Project mineable reserve estimate was 
calculated using a rough approximation of the floating 
cone technique, with Datamine software used to assist 
with pit extrapolation and to tabulate reserves from the 
geological block model. Table 2-2 summarizes the 
deposit's recoverable reserves. 

The average strip ratio of the proposed pit is 1 .69 
tons waste to one ton of ore. However, due to the 
approximate need for 574.000 tons of construction 
material, the operating strip ratio is effectively reduced 
to 1.61 to 1. 



2.1.1.2 Production Schedule 

Mine production has been forecast to meet the ore 
processing schedule of 1.2 million tons per year as 
summarized in Table 2-3. 

Ore production has been scheduled from the top 
down, i.e., ore mining would begin at the highest bench 
level in the pit and proceed down to each succeeding 
bench. Waste production would coincide with ore 
production on each bench. 

2.1.1.3 Haul Roads 

The majority of haul roads would be contained 
within the perimeter of the open pit. The gentle slope 
along the footwall provides access to the lower benches 
without increasing the volume of waste rock to be 
stripped. All haul roads would be 55 feet wide with a 
maximum 10 percent to 1 2.5 percent grade with safety 
berms and diversion ditches constructed where 
required. Haul roads would be constructed with waste 
rock. The haul road locations were shown in Figure 
2_2 

Access to the pit's upper benches would be via a 55- 
foot-wide haul road which would be constructed in cut 
material in the pit area, and in predominantly fill 
material outside of the pit perimeter. The road would 
be "mined-in" by the mine production crews from the 
bottom up at a constant 10 percent to 12.5 percent 
grade. Topsoil would first be stripped and stockpiled. 
Waste rock stripping would commence at the pit's 
southern end below the main haul road and would (1 ) 
provide construction fill material for the leach pad and 
crusher site and (2) reduce stripping ratios in years two 



2-7 



TABLE 2-2 
Estimated Mineable Reserves 



Ore tons 

(1000s) 


Gold grade 
(ounces per ton) 


Gold ounces 


Waste tons 
(1000s) 


Strip 
ratio 


Pro ven/probable 

5,412 


0.036 


196.440 






Possible 

1,583 


0.034 


50,390 






Total 

6,995 


0.035 


246.830 


11,818 


1.69 



TABLE 2-3 
Production Summary 



Year 


Ore 

(tons) 


Waste 

(tons) 


Construction 
waste (tons) 


Total 
(tons) 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 


1,200,000 
1 ,200.000 
1.200,000 
1.200.000 
1.200.000 
995,000 


2.389,000 
2,519,000 
2.695,000 
2.074.000 
1.290.000 
277,000 


574,000 







4,163,000 
3,719,000 
3,895,000 
3,274,000 
2.490,000 
1,272.000 


Total 


6,995,000 


1 1 .244.000 


574.000 


18.813.000 



and three. Most in-pit road segments would be 
designed at 1 percent grade with the exception of the 
bottom two benches which are at 20 percent and 15 
percent. Uphill waste haul speeds would be limited to 
1 8 miles per hour (mph) maximum and, for safety, all 
other speeds would not exceed 30 mph. 

Initial access to the North Waste Rock Dump 
(NWRD) would require a short segment of in-pit haul 
road to be constructed from the proposed maintenance 
facility area up to the 4,900-foot bench, where it would 
connect with the haul road to the crusher. Access to 
the upper benches requires a sharp in-pit switchback at 
this intersection. Removing the initial haul road as 
benches are mined out would provide the remaining 
access to the NWRD. 



Trucks hauling waste rock to the South Waste Rock 
Dump (SWRD) would share the main haul road that 
accesses the ore crusher. Waste rock from the upper 
benches would be hauled to the dump's elevation of 
4,850 feet. Waste rock from the lower benches may be 
hauled to a lower lift to reduce uphill hauls. Near the 
end of mining, dumping of waste rock may increase to 
4,900 feet elevation. 

No pul louts are planned by YMC for the proposed 
haul roads. This is due to the limited truck traffic and 
the planned width of haul roads (more than three times 
wider than truck width). 



2-8 



2.1.1.4 Blasting 

Pit rock would be broken by blasting, using 
standard industry practices and materials. 
Conventional ammonium nitrate and fuel oil (ANFO) 
explosives would be used. Blasting supplies would be 
stored in accordance with MSHA and Arizona State 
Mine Inspector regulations. Blasting would be 
conducted weekdays, during daylight hours and under 
strict safety procedures. Overall mine safety practices 
would conform to Article 2 of the Arizona Mine Safety 
Code and MSHA regulations. Explosives would be 
delivered by licensed haulers and stored on site in 
approved storage facilities. 

The following blasting plan outlines the general 
design elements and precautions that YMC would use 
to control rock movement, ground vibration and 
airblast from proposed surface blasting operations. It 
also discusses methods to stop traffic on State Highway 
89 during certain parts of the blasting operation. YMC 
would continually review the blast results of the initial 
blasting designs and adjust future designs based on 
observed results. 

Development Drilling. A blasthole drill would be 
used for drilling. Initial blastholes would be eight 
inches in diameter and 24 feet deep. Blast hole 
diameters would vary depending on the pounds of 
explosive per ton blasted. This hole depth includes 
four feet of subdrill below the 20-foot bench grade. 
Development drill results would document any 
conditions such as mud seams, voids, soft rock and 
ground faults encountered, so that special precautions 
can be taken when loading these areas. Typical drill 
patterns would be staggered with a 1 2-foot-by- 1 2-foot 
dimensional spacing. Powder factors up to one pound 



of explosives per ton would be used, with an average of 
approximately 0.7 pounds per ton. 

Hole Loading Procedures. Before loading 
commences, all drill holes would be inspected and 
measured. Short holes would be re-drilled, if necessary, 
before loading any holes in the pattern. Dry blast holes 
would be loaded with ANFO. Wet holes or wet 
portions of holes would be loaded with a packaged 
emulsion blasting agent. 

All blast holes would be primed with a one-pound 
high-explosive charge or booster at the bottom of the 
hole. Millisecond delay, nonelectric detonators would 
be used to provide sequential in-hole delay timing. 
Boosters and detonator primer assemblies would be 
"made up** at the hole, just prior to loading. Unused 
primers would be disassembled before transporting the 
booster and detonator components to their respective 
and separate magazines. All holes would be stemmed 
(backfilled) with five feet minimum of minus 3/4-inch 
crushed rock topped with six feet of drill cuttings. 

Initiation System Hookup Procedure. Detonators 
in the hole, with detonating cord and detonators on the 
surface, would be used to create two-path sequential 
timing. All shots would be initiated by a lead-in line, 
spliced to a detonator, attached to the first hole to fire. 
All blasting would be accomplished by the use of 
millisecond delay detonators to control seismic 
vibration and compensate for geologic anomalies that 
could result in flyrock and airblast. 

Clearing and Guarding Procedures. The Blasting 
Supervisor would be responsible for all shot area 
clearing and guarding procedures, as follows. 



2-9 



♦ The Blasting Supervisor would coordinate blasts 
with emergency authorities (e.g., the County 
Sheriffs Office). One blast would be initiated 
two days each week under an approved blasting 
schedule. 

♦ A safe area around the shot area would be 
cleared and guards would be placed to prevent 
entry. 

♦ Traffic would be delayed for approximately 10 
minutes per blast on State Highway 89 by YMC 
personnel prior to entering the stretch of 
highway adjacent to the mine. 

♦ When the area is secure, the lead-in line initiator 
would be connected to the shot and the shot 
would be fired when all traffic and persons, 
including the shot-initiator, are in a safe 
location. 

♦ The Blasting Supervisor would inspect the shot 
area after a blast is fired and relieve all guards 
and give the all clear signal only when no 
existing hazards result from the blast. 

If lightning is detected, these same procedures 
would be used to clear and secure the area until the 
hazard has passed. Signs would be placed along State 
Highway 89 to warn motorists that they are entering an 
area adjacent to blasting activities. 

Shot Initiation. Once a pattern has been loaded 
and all detonators are connected, the Blasting 
Supervisor would perform a final inspection of the 
blast area to verify that all unused explosives have been 
removed and all detonators have been properly 
connected. After final inspection, the blast area would 
be considered operational and no personnel or 
equipment would be allowed within 50 feet of a loaded 
hole without permission from the Blasting Supervisor. 



When the blast area is secure, a lead-in line initiator 
would be attached to the shot initiation point. The 
detonator would be fired from a safe location. 

Blast Initiation and All Clear Signal. After 
blasting, the Blasting Supervisor would inspect the shot 
area for any hazardous conditions before allowing 
traffic and work to resume in the area. Loose rock 
conditions or misfired explosives hazards would be 
corrected before any work is allowed in the immediate 
area. 

When the blast area is free of hazards, the Blasting 
Supervisor would give the all clear signal. Under no 
circumstances would any traffic or work proceed in the 
area until this signal is given by the Blasting 
Supervisor. 

Vibration Monitoring Plan. YMC would comply 
with current Office of Surface Mining (OSM) blasting 
regulations for control of vibration and airblast. These 
regulations are found at 30 CFR Section 816 (816.61 
through 816.68). Scaled distance formulas would be 
used to determine the maximum explosive charge 
weights per delay for all blasts. Initially, the prescribed 
scaled distance formula in the OSM regulations would 
be used. Nearby structures not owned by YMC (two 
residences and a communications tower) were 
monitored during a test blast to evaluate the proposed 
blasting plan. 

YMC would use seismographs to monitor ground 
and air vibrations at the three structures noted above, 
and at one location in Glen Ilah. Seismic data would 
be collected and used to modify blast designs according 
to current OSM regulations, using ground vibration as 
the controlling factor. All designs would be planned to 



2-10 



keep vibration levels well below the surface mining 
limits for the state of Arizona. 

Airblast and Flyrock Control. Airblast would be 
controlled as prescribed in current OSM regulations. 
YMC would use drill cuttings and 3/4-inch crushed 
rock initially to prevent blowouts, high airblast and 
excessive rock movement. Moreover, hole-by-hole 
sequential timing would be used to control shot 
movement and direction. 

Schedule. YMC would blast an average of 63,000 
tons of ore and waste rock material each week. Blasts 
would be initiated two days each week under an 
approved blasting schedule, weekdays only, during 
daylight hours (e.g., 9 am to 6 pm) and under strict 
safety procedures. Due to variances in mining 
production, weekly blasting schedules may vary. 
Weekly schedules would be subject to change 
depending on mechanical availability, weather 
conditions and other uncontrollable factors. Schedules 
for blasting and associated road closures would be 
submitted to ADOT on a weekly basis. These 
schedules would be made available to the public. 

Traffic Control YMC plans to stop traffic during 
blasting operations as a public safeguard on State 
Highway 89 and Mina Road, which runs along the 
north side of the proposed project boundary and 
intersects with State Highway 89. Traffic would be 
delayed approximately 10 minutes. Northbound traffic 
would be stopped approximately 300 feet north of 
Milepost 275 and 2.000 feet from the proposed blasting 
area. Southbound traffic would be stopped 
approximately 1,850 feet north of Milepost 276 and 
1 ,500 feet from proposed blasting. This location would 
not block the main access to Glen Hah from State 
Highway 89. Traffic would not be released until the 



Blasting Supervisor gives the all clear signal. As 
previously mentioned, blasting operations would be 
carried out in such a manner to control rock movement, 
ground vibration and airblast. 

Once the blast pattern has been drilled, loaded and 
hooked up, the Blasting Supervisor would initiate a 1 0- 
minute warning via a siren and a two-way radio 
announcement. The shot area would be cleared and 
guarded to a safe distance, and personnel would be 
stationed on the road. 

A five-minute warning again by siren and radio 
announcement would be made and the Blasting 
Supervisor would request radio silence except for 
emergency communication. Personnel stopping traffic 
would be in direct radio contact with the Blasting 
Supervisor. When traffic has been stopped and the 
blast area secured, a lead-in line initiator would be 
attached to the shot initiation point. Personnel would 
drive the segment of road between the stop points to 
assure that all traffic had cleared. A siren and radio 
announcement would warn all personnel that a blast 
would be initiated in three minutes, followed by a 
similar one-minute warning. At 20 seconds before the 
shot is initiated, a rhythmic siren would be sounded. 
After the blast, the Blasting Supervisor would inspect 
the shot area for hazardous conditions before allowing 
traffic and work to resume in the area. The all clear 
signal would be given normally within five minutes 
after the blast, and traffic would be released. 

A detailed traffic control plan specifying sign 
placement and procedures for stopping traffic would be 
submitted to ADOT. The traffic control plan would 
include a procedure to coordinate emergency services 
from Wickenburg to the town of Yarnell and 
surrounding communities. The Blasting Supervisor 



would be able to see the entire segment of State 
Highway 89 adjacent to the blasting area and would be 
in radio contact at all times during the blasting. In 
emergency situations requiring the highway to be open, 
YMC personnel stopping traffic would notify the 
Blasting Supervisor to hold the blast until further 
notification from the appropriate authority. 
Emergencies would always take precedence over 
blasting operations. Schedules for highway closure 
(blasting schedule) would be submitted to ADOT. 

2.1.1.5 Pit Water Management 

Of the 96 exploration holes drilled in the mine area, 
19 holes intercepted groundwater. This is typical of a 
fractured rock groundwater system where groundwater 
levels show local variability and yield depends on 
fracture continuity and structure. Groundwater may be 
encountered in specific fractures in the pit. Based on 
the measured yield from area wells, it is anticipated that 
yield from fractures would be low. A borehole in the 
northern portion of the proposed pit was drilled in 
March 1996 and used as a groundwater observation 
point during a long-term pump test of Well YMC-04, 
an existing water supply well (shown in Figure 2-2). 
The static water level was about 4,640 feet. Wells 
about 600 feet southwest of the proposed pit and 300 
feet north of the pit have groundwater elevations of 
about 4,580 feet and 4.650 feet, respectively. Based on 
measured water levels in the vicinity of the proposed 
pit, groundwater levels are anticipated to be at or 
slightly below the proposed pit bottom of 4,620 to 
4.660 feet. Groundwater resources in the MSA are 
described in Section 3.2.5.2. Groundwater discharge to 
the pit is anticipated to be limited to minor seepage and 
any water encountered during mining would be 
diverted to a pit sump and used for dust control or other 
beneficial use. Backfilling portions of the pit would 



promote drainage of groundwater and/or storm water 
through the southwest end of the pit. These actions 
would result in a post-closure pit bottom elevation 
ranging from 4.640 to 4,660 feet. 



2.1.2 



WASTE ROCK DUMPS 



YMC proposes to use two sites for the disposal of 
overburden and rock that contain no or low levels of 
gold mineralization. The uneconomical rock is referred 
to as "waste rock" and must be removed from the open 
pit to access the economical gold-bearing ore. The two 
proposed waste rock sites (north and south dumps) are 
shown in Figure 2-2. 

The waste rock dumps would generally not be used 
concurrently. YMC proposes to use the initial waste 
rock for construction of the crusher pad and the first 
phase of the heap leach pad. Subsequently, waste rock 
would be hauled to the NWRD for disposal until the 
site is full. The remaining (and majority) of waste rock 
would next be hauled to the SWRD. Plans call for the 
placement of 3.7 million tons of waste rock in the 
NWRD and approximately 7.6 million tons of waste 
rock in the SWRD. 

2. 1.2.1 Site Development and Operation 

The NWRD would be developed from the 4,825- 
foot elevation, starting from the north side of the mine 
pit and advancing to the north and east. This would 
create a maximum single lift dump height of about 150 
feet and cover approximately 22 acres. The initial 
portion of the NWRD would be used for shop, storage 
and laydown areas. 

The NWRD would cover the existing mill tailings, 
the small crushed ore leach pile and other disturbed 



2-12 



areas. An existing water supply well, YMC-04, is 
within the NWRD and would be covered with about 
125 feet of waste rock. During development, waste 
rock would be carefully placed around the well casing, 
and the well casing and associated pump equipment 
would be extended upward as needed. This would be 
accomplished by maintaining a mound of waste rock 
around the well casing that is above the level of 
surrounding waste rock near the well. The well head 
would be barricaded, as necessary, to protect it from 
vehicular traffic. 

The SWRD would be developed by end-dumping 
from the 4,850-foot elevation, starting from the 
southwest end of the mine pit and advancing to the 
south and west. This would create a maximum single 
lift dump height of about 200 feet and cover 
approximately 49 acres. Near the end of mining, 
dumping of waste rock may be required above the 
4,850-foot elevation. The area at the northeast corner 
of the SWRD would be used for the crushing plant 
foundation and an area for ore stockpiles. 

Cross sections showing the development of the 
NWRD and SWRD are illustrated in Figure 2-3 (cross 
section locations are shown in Figure 2-2). Actual 
dump area advancement may differ from that shown in 
these figures. Due to the elevation of the pit above the 
elevation of the waste rock dump sites, downhill 
hauling of waste rock to the dumps is proposed during 
the initial stages of mining. During initial mine 
development, the top of the waste rock dump would be 
at a slight grade (generally sloping upward to the edge 
of the dump face) and the advancing face of the dump 
would be at the angle of repose of the waste rock. At 
the ultimate toe of the dump, a sediment retention 
structure would be constructed to retain sediments that 
may be generated from the dump face and from nearby 



stripped and disturbed areas that have not yet been 
covered with waste rock. 

2.1.2.2 Hazard and Runoff Control 

End-dumping the waste rock would lead to some 
particle size segregation. The potential hazard of 
rolling boulders and minor slides would be mitigated 
by restricting access to the toe areas of the dumps. 
Furthermore, both waste rock dump sites would be in 
valleys. By end-dumping the waste rock, any large 
boulders rolling down the slope would accumulate 
along the bottom of the valley. Access to the areas 
below the toe of the dumps would be restricted and 
controlled by YMC. The sediment retention structure 
downstream from the ultimate toe of each dump would 
also serve as a barrier (containment berm) to any large 
boulders rolling down the slopes and into the bottom of 
the valley. 

Waste dump stability was analyzed by YMC both 
during projected operations and after regrading to 
slopes of 50 percent. During operation, the waste 
would be dumped at the angle of repose and the safety 
factor on the dump face would be 1 .0. Further into the 
dump, the static safety factor would increase to 1 .30. 
After reclamation, the static safety factor for the dump 
face would be 1.35. Minimum pseudostatic safety 
factors were above the 1.15 minimum acceptable 
stability criteria set by YMC. 

Additional analyses were conducted by YMC to 
evaluate any effect of the existing mill tailings on 
stability of the NWRD. Analyses of operating stability 
resulted in static safety factors ranging from 1.11 to 
1.31. and pseudostatic safety factors ranging from 1 .01 
to 1 .21 . After reclamation, pseudostatic safety factors 



2-13 



would range from 1 .34 to 1 .44, and static safety factors 
would range from 1 .5 to 1 .6. 

Runoff control would be handled by sloping the top 
surface of the waste rock dumps and constructing 
diversion channels, as shown in Figure 2-4. The 
channels have been designed to keep runoff from 
undisturbed areas separate from waste rock and 
disturbed areas. The NWRD and SWRD diversion 
channels around the waste rock dumps are permanent 
structures and have been designed to withstand and 
convey peak runoff from the 1 00-year. 24-hour storm 
(4.8 inches of precipitation) as outlined in ADEQ- 
BADCT guidelines (ADEQ 1996). During operations, 
runoff from disturbed areas would be contained in the 
temporary sediment retention structures shown in 
Figure 2-2. The capacity of these structures has been 
sized to contain the cumulative undiverted runoff from 
the 25-year, 24-hour storm (3.8 inches of precipitation). 
Upon reclamation, the sediment retention structures 
would be filled with waste rock and stabilized to 
minimize erosion. 

Nine storm water outfalls (SWO) have been 
identified in YMC's NPDES/Storm Water Permit 
application and are shown in Figure 2-4. Three outfalls 
(SWO-02, 04 and 07) are storm water discharge points 
and would be authorized under the general Multi- 
Sector Permit. These discharges would be subject to 
visual examination. The other six outfalls (SWO-01, 
03, 05, 06, 08 and 09) drain storm water that would 
come into contact with waste rock. These six outfalls 
would be authorized under an individual permit for 
mine drainage and discharge and would be subject to 
effluent limitation guidelines. 

The SWRD and crusher pad would be drained by 
SWO-01. SWO-01 would flow into SWO-02. which 



would drain an undisturbed area and a topsoil 
stockpile. Outfalls SWO-03 and SWO-04 would drain 
the initial and future phases of the heap leach pad. 
Outfalls SWO-05 and 08 would drain construction 
areas (roads, etc.) where drainage would contact waste 
rock. Discharge from the sediment retention structures 
for the NWRD and the SWRD would be at outfalls 
SWO-06 and 09, respectively. Outfall SWO-07 would 
drain the office, topsoil stockpile and undisturbed area 
and would be downstream of SWO-06. Drainage and 
catchment areas for the water resources study area 
(WRSA) are shown in Figure 3-6. Additional detail 
regarding the design of diversions and sediment 
retention structures can be found in Section 2.1.6.15. 

As discussed in the MPO and Baseline 
Geochemical Report prepared for ADEQ, geochemical 
testing of waste rock samples was conducted to assess 
the potential for acid mine drainage. The potential for 
generation of acid mine drainage will be analyzed in 
Chapter 4 of this EIS. 

2.1.3 ORE CRUSHING AND STOCKPILES 

2.1.3.1 Crushing 

Ore would be hauled from the pit in 60-ton trucks, 
dumped into a hopper and fed into a primary 36-inch- 
by-48-inch jaw crusher. The product of the primary 
crusher would have 80 percent crushed to a six-inch 
size or less, with a maximum to a nine-inch size. The 
crushed product would be conveyed to the secondary 
crushing plant consisting of a vibrating screen, a 5Vi- 
foot standard cone crusher, discharge conveyors and 
electrical panels. The secondary crusher would 
produce a product with 80 percent less than 1 Vi inches. 



2-14 



SECTION A-A' 




3600 3400 3200 3000 2800 2600 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 

DISTANCE (FEET) 



800 600 



SECTION B-B' 




EXISTING GROUND SURFACE- 
SEDIMENT RETENTION STRUCTURE - 



2400 2200 2000 1800 



1400 1200 1000 

DISTANCE (FEET) 



600 400 200 



SECTION C-C 



-DIVERSION CHANNEL 
-FUEL tc BULK OIL STORAGE 
-HAUL ROAD 



c 




2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 



600 400 200 



SCALE IN FEET 



SEE FIGURE 2-2 FOR CROSS SECTION LOCATIONS 

NOTE: Based on Figure from Facilities Design Report, SMI - 1996. 



HEAP LEACH AND 
WASTE ROCK DUMP 
CROSS SECTIONS 



2.1.3.2 Stockpiles 

Run-of-mine (ROM) and fine ore stockpiles would 
be at the crusher site. Ore would be stockpiled, as 
necessary, when the crusher is down and/or ore cannot 
be hauled to the leach pad. The ROM ore stockpile 
would be constructed to allow ore trucks to dump 
directly into the bin feeding the primary crusher. 

2.1.3.3 Crushing Schedule and Rate 

Ore would be crushed at a rate of approximately 
300 tons per hour, 24 hours per day, five days per 
week. Dust would be controlled as necessary with high 
pressure water spray at a rate of four to 10 gallons per 
minute (gpm) of water. Generally, crushing would 
occur Monday through Friday each week. However, 
the crusher may be required to operate additional days 
for short periods to adjust for down time. The crusher 
would not operate more than 6,240 hours per year. 



2.1.4 



LEACHING 



Leaching of a particular area would occur for about 
100 days. The resulting "pregnant" or gold-bearing 
solution would be collected and processed in the ADR 
plant to recover the precious metals from the solution. 
The leach solution, pH and sodium cyanide 
concentration, are adjusted prior to re-application on 
the heap. 

2.1.4.1 Design Criteria 

The proposed heap leach system has been designed 
as a closed system, such that the leach solutions are 
contained within the heap and collection ponds with no 
discharge or leakage. Outside additions of water are 
limited to precipitation directly onto the leach pad and 
collection ponds and makeup water. Losses of water 
are limited to evaporation of solution. The potential for 
any cyanide gas emission would be controlled by 
maintaining a pH at or above 1 0.5 during operation and 
allowing the pH to decrease to that of the makeup water 
as free or weak-acid dissociable (WAD) cyanide 
concentrations decrease. 



This section describes the proposed heap leaching 
portion of the ore processing plan for the Yarnell 
Project. The proposed layout and other details of the 
heap leach facility are illustrated in Figure 2-5. The 
project flowchart shown previously (Figure 2-1) 
includes proposed ore processing activities. 

The crushed ore would be placed on the heap leach 
pad in 20-foot lifts by controlled dumping and dozing 
to minimize compaction of the top surface of each lift. 
The ore would be leached by percolation of dilute 
sodium cyanide solution through the crushed ore to 
liberate precious metals. The cyanide-enriched solution 
would be applied to the ore 24 hours per day at a 
constant rate of about 0.005 gpm per square foot. 



The proposed heap and underlying leach pad have 
been sized for seven million tons of ore. Using a swell 
factor of 30 percent for crushed and stacked ore, the 
average as-mined ore density used for heap design was 
1 .50 tons per cubic yard ( 1 7.9 cubic feet per ton or 1 1 2 
pounds per cubic foot). At this density, the required 
heap capacity is approximately 4.6 million cubic yards. 
The leached, drained moisture content of the ore is five 
percent higher than the as-mined moisture content, so 
the drained unit weight would be 117.6 pounds per 
cubic foot. As proposed, the difference in unit weight 
is insignificant to the slope stability and in the 
settlement design analyses. 



2-19 



The leach pad has been designed to be consistent 
with ADEQ-BADCT guidelines for precious-metal 
heap leach facilities (ADEQ 1996) and to meet or 
exceed the prescriptive design requirements for 
solution containment in these guidelines. The leach 
facility has also been designed with containment and 
leak detection features consistent with BLM guidelines 
for cyanide management (BLM 1992). The external 
slopes of the heap have been designed with acceptable 
factors of safety under both static and seismic 
conditions. The minimum acceptable factor of safety 
is based on the ADEQ-BADCT guidelines. Supporting 
calculations and discussions are provided in YMC's 
Facilities Design Report submitted to the ADEQ. 

2.1.4.2 Leach Pad 

The 36-acre leach pad has been designed to drain by 
gravity toward the pad's southeast corner and into the 
solution ponds (Figure 2-5). The leach pad would be 
constructed as a combination of three methods: (1 ) a 
fill area (forming the bottom and south end of the leach 
pad) consisting of compacted fill at a finished grade of 
four percent, (2) fill areas (along the west side of the 
leach pad) consisting of compacted fill at a finished 
slope of 33 percent (3 horizontal: 1 vertical) and (3) 
regraded existing site slopes (along the east, west and 
north sides of the site) consisting of reworked and 
compacted existing site subsoils with existing slopes 
ranging from four percent to 33 percent. The 
compacted fill material would consist primarily of 
selected waste rock. 

The proposed leach pad is designed for phased 
construction, with three phases currently planned. The 
initial leach pad phase would form the south end of the 
leach pad (nearest the ponds) and have an area of 
approximately 15 acres (650,000 square feet). The 



second phase would form the central portion of the 
leach pad and is planned with an area of approximately 
1 2 acres (520,000 square feet). The third phase would 
form the north end of the leach pad and is planned with 
an area of approximately nine acres (390,000 square 
feet), to reach the total leach pad area of 36 acres (1 .56 
million square feet). 

The constructed leach pad slopes would range from 
two to 33 percent to facilitate subgrade construction 
and installation of the liner system. Leach pad elements 
are shown in Figure 2-6 and include (from bottom to 
top): 

♦ Subsurface drain system. A subsurface drain 
system would be installed on a competent or 
manually compacted subgrade following natural 
drainage patterns under the area to be covered 
by the heap leach pad and under the pond and 
ADR plant site. This system would act as a 
subsurface drain should any groundwater find 
its way beneath this construction. Slotted or 
perforated pipe would be installed in triangular 
depressions, encased in gravel and wrapped with 
filter fabric. This system would reach the 
ground surface at the south end of the project 
site, where the drain would discharge to a 
collection sump downgradient of the solution 
ponds. 

♦ Leach pad fill. This would consist of placing 
select waste rock and weathered site soils in 
compacted lifts. These materials would be well- 
graded and, when compacted, form a dense fill. 

♦ Liner bedding layer and secondary liner. This 
would consist of selected residual soils, clay- 
amended, moisture-conditioned and compacted in 
one or more lifts to form a secondary liner with a 
minimum thickness of 1 2 inches. 



2-20 




SUBSURFACE DRAIN (BENEATH LEACH PAD FILL) 
«*-•*" LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM (BENEATH SYNTHETIC UNER IN LEACH PAD LINER SYSTEM) 
LD5 POINT AT WHICH LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM DRAINS REACH SURFACE 
ft DIRECTION OF FLOW ABOVE SYNTHETIC LINER 



LEAK DETECTION MONITORING AREA 

EDGE OF LEACH PAD LINER SYSTEM 

SHADED AREAS INDICATE COVERAGE WITH 

BIRD NETTING OR OTHER APPROVED PROTECTION 



NOTE: Based on Figure from Facilities Design Report, SMI - 1996. 



HEAP LEACH 
AND POND SYSTEM 
FACILITY LAYOUT 





DRAIN SAND MINUS 




3/8" AND LESS 


HDPE 


THAN 5% PASSING 


LI IER 


NO. 200 SIEVE-, 



2-INCH DIAMETER 
SLOTTED DRAIN PIPE 



0.5 FT. MIN. 



3 



LINER 

BEDDING ' 
MATERIAL-'' 



- LEACH PAD FILL 



LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM DETAIL 



DRAIN GRAVEL ENCASED 
WITH 4.5 OZ/SO. (D. 

NON-WOVEN FILTER FABRIC 



PREPARED 
SUBGRADE 
SURFACE - 



LEACH, PAD FILL 



SUBSURFACE DRAIN GRAVEL 
MINUS 3" MATERIAL. AND 
LESS THAN 10°. PASSING 
NO. 200 SIEVE 



? % ? 10 b 



-6-INCH DIA. SLOTTED 
OR PERFORATED PIPE 



SUBSURfACE DRAIN DETAIL 




- INNER SYNTHETIC LINER 
GEOGRID 
— OUTER SYNTHETIC LINER 

/— POND LINER BEDDING MATERIAL 



POND FILL OR MATERIAL BELOW 
PREPARED SUBGRADE 



TYPICAL DETAIL 
BARREN AND PREGN/ Nl 

POND LINER SYSTEM 



NOT TO SCALE 



PROPOSED YARN ELL PROJECT 
YAVAPAI COUNTY. ARIZONA 



TYPICAL LEACH PAD 

AND BARREN POND 

LINER SYSTEM DETAILS 



2-23 



♦ Leak detection system. The leak detection 
system would consist of slotted or perforated 
pipe (or other drainage materials) in triangular 
depressions filled with sand between the High 
Density Polyethylene (HDPE) liner and the liner 
bedding layer. This piping would act as a leak 
detection system and would daylight to 
monitoring sumps along the south end of the 
heap leach pad. The degree of impermeability 
of the underlying material at the pipe inverts 
would encourage the more permeable drain 
gravels and sands to become saturated at that 
point and encourage flow in the piping to occur. 
During standard operations, the leak detection 
drains would be inspected daily to determine the 
presence and amount of moisture in the sumps. 
The APP identifies specific leak detection 
monitoring points, parameters, methods and 
frequencies. 

♦ Primary liner. This would consist of a 60-mil 
nominal thickness HDPE. with panels seamed 
and tested according to current standards of 
seaming and construction quality assurance 
(QA) testing. 

♦ Collection pipes. A series of perforated or 
slotted solution collection pipes would be placed 
on top of the primary liner for rapid conveyance 
of solution to the pregnant solution pond. 

♦ Liner cover. This would consist of crushed ore 
(%-inch minus) placed on top of the primary 
liner and collection pipes in one 18-inch thick 
lift. 

Any potential solution leaks would show up first 
through the leak detection system described above. 
Groundwater well monitoring would also identify leaks 
but at a later time. Specific solution leak contingency 
plans are outlined in the MPO and in the APP. 



2.1.4.3 Heap Construction and Operation 

The crushed ore would be hauled to the leach pad 
and lifts would be constructed by dumping onto the 
previous lift, then pushing the ore upward with a dozer 
to form the new lift. Each lift would have a nominal 
height of 20 feet. This method of heap lift construction 
was selected to minimize compaction of the top surface 
of each lift. 

Dilute sodium cyanide solution would be distributed 
over the heap by a drip emitter irrigation system on a 
24-hour-per-day schedule. This system was selected to 
enhance application efficiency and minimize 
evaporative loss of solution. The barren solution 
application rate would be approximately 0.005 gpm/ft : . 
Leaching of a particular area of heap lift would be 
conducted for approximately 100 days. At the design 
application rate of 1,200 gpm. each area of solution 
application would be approximately 5.5 acres or 
240,000 square feet. A settling basin with a concrete 
sump would be constructed in the southeast corner of 
the leach pad where sediment carried in the leach 
solutions would be conveyed via collection pipes. The 
basin would be lined as part of the leach pad liner 
system and covered with netting. The settling basin 
would be designed specifically for collection and 
removal of sediment. 

On the outside slopes of the heap, the lifts of ore 
would be set back on benches approximately 10 feet 
wide to form overall exterior slopes of 50 percent. The 
ultimate heap height would range between 1 00 and 200 
feet. 

Slope stability of the heap leach was evaluated by 
YMC at its maximum height and most critical slope 
configuration. Analyses were conducted under both 



2-24 



static and seismic conditions for operational and 
reclaimed configurations of the heap, using the most 
likely modes of failure. The material properties used in 
the stability analyses were determined from laboratory 
testing of on-site materials and accepted values from 
geotechnical literature. Analyses under static 
conditions resulted in factors of safety (1.38 to 1.41) 
above accepted criteria. 

The seismic stability of the heap leach facility was 
analyzed using pseudostatic methods. A pseudostatic 
coefficient of 0.08 g was used. This coefficient 
represented seismic conditions for a 250-year 
recurrence interval earthquake (or a 90 percent 
probability that an earthquake of larger magnitude 
would not occur with 250 years). The resulting 
minimum pseudostatic factor of safety (1.15) was 
above accepted criteria. 

2.1.4.4 Solution Containment 

Three ponds are planned to collect and store process 
solutions from heap leaching and freshwater/storm 
water. The total capacity, less freeboard, of the three 
ponds is approximately 9.3 million gallons (3. 1 million 
gallons for each pond). Expected solution volumes 
total 9.1 million gallons, as follows: 

♦ Containment of precipitation on the leach pad 
from the 100-year, 24-hour storm (4.8 inches), 
plus a 10 percent safety factor (a total of 5.2 
inches), totaling 5.4 million gallons (5.2 inches 
over a 38-acre area). This includes the 36-acre 
leach pad proper, two acres for the lined 
channels between the solution ponds, and the 
lined area in the ADR plant vicinity. 



♦ Provision for operating volume, totaling two 
million gallons in the pregnant and barren solution 
ponds (one million gallons in each pond). 

♦ Provision for heap draindown (24 hours at the 
anticipated 1 ,200-gpm application rate), totaling 
1.7 million gallons. 

An additional 200.000-gallon freshwater storage 
pond is shown in Figure 2-5. This pond is not 
connected to the other ponds and is thus not included 
in the capacity calculations described above. 

The ponds would have two feet of space above the 
9.3-million-gallon capacity (freeboard). This is 
equivalent to 1.7 million gallons for additional water 
storage. Thus, the total pond system capacity is 1 1.0 
million gallons. Each pond would be 200 feet square 
and 20 feet deep at the center. The pond interior would 
be sloped at approximately 40 percent, resulting in 1 00- 
foot-square bottoms. The pond bottoms would be 
sloped to one corner to allow the complete removal of 
water (if needed) and the low corner would also 
contain the leak detection sump beneath the inner liner. 

The pregnant and barren solution ponds would be 
constructed with the first phase of the leach pad, with 
a total capacity of more than seven million gallons. 
The third pond, operated as a freshwater and storm 
water storage pond, would be constructed either 
initially or concurrently with the second phase of leach 
pad construction. The pond layouts and details are 
shown in Figure 2-7. Typical barren and pregnant 
pond cross sections are presented in Figure 2-8. 

The pregnant and barren solution ponds would be 
connected by a lined spillway to convey excess water 
from the pregnant pond to the barren pond should it be 
Filled. The overflow pond would be constructed 



2-25 



downstream of the barren pond, with a lined spillway 
between the barren pond and storm water pond. 



2.1.5 OTHER PROCESSING 
CONSIDERATIONS 



The pregnant and barren solution ponds would have 
double synthetic liners with a leak detection system 
between the liners (as outlined in ADEQ-BADCT 
guidelines). The overflow pond would be constructed 
with a single 60-mil-thick HDPE liner. Typical leach 
pad and barren and pregnant pond liner system details 
are shown in Figure 2-6. 

As documented in Appendix C of the Facilities 
Design Report submitted to ADEQ by YMC. monthly 
water balance calculations for the heap leach facility 
show that there would be a net replacement water 
requirement for heap leaching and rinsing. During 
active ore placement and leaching, makeup water 
requirements range from approximately 30 gpm in 
winter to approximately 140 gpm in summer (under 
average climatic conditions). Following active ore 
placement, makeup water requirements decrease to 80 
gpm in summer months and zero in winter months. 

2.1.4.5 Solution Application and Collection 

Solution application to the ore would be by a drip 
emitter system pumped and piped from the barren 
solution pond. No open areas of ponded or flowing 
water would be exposed and open to access by wildlife. 
The leach pad and pond area would be completely 
fenced, and the barren and pregnant solution ponds 
would be covered with netting or other approved 
protection to prevent access by birds and other animals. 



In addition to crushing and heap leaching described 
previously, the process circuit includes carbon 
adsorption and stripping. Cathodes would be smelted 
at the mine to produce dore bars for shipment. The 
processing circuit process flow was shown previously 
in Figure 2-1. The gold recovery steps below would 
take place at the ADR plant, south of the heap leach 
(see Figure 2-2). 

2.1.5.1 Gold Recovery 

Adsorption. The gold would be recovered from the 
gold-bearing solution by adsorbing the dissolved gold 
onto activated carbon contained in one row of six 
carbon columns. Each column would hold two tons of 
carbon. 

Acid Washing. The gold-bearing carbon would be 
moved from the carbon adsorption columns to an acid 
wash tank. Dilute hydrochloric acid would be 
circulated through carbon in the acid wash tank until 
the return solution decreases to a pH of one. 

When the washing cycle is complete, a solution of 
caustic soda would be added to the acid wash pump 
box and pumped through the acid wash tank to 
neutralize the free acid. Once neutralization has 
occurred, as indicated by a final pH of eight, the 
washed carbon would be transferred to the stripping 
circuit. 



Carbon Stripping. Twice a week, one carbon 
column would be stripped of its gold content in a 
desorption column. Strip solution-containing caustic 
soda and cyanide would be pumped through the strip 



2-26 



ELEV. (Ft.) 

4770- 




PONI Ml! 



PREPARED 
SUBGRA l 
SURFACE 



TYPICAL CROSS SECTION 
BARREN POND 



ION SLOTTCD PIPE — 
LEAK DETECTION SUMP — 



PLANT AREA LINER 



70- J> 



\n nn nr 




— PREPARED PUNT 
ARIA SURFACE 
PRrPARLD SUBGRADE SURFACE 



TYPICAL CROSS SEC! H 
PREGNANT POND 



LEAP DETECTION SLOTTED PIPE 
PREPARED POND SURFACE — 
AND OUTER SiNTHETIC LINER 

LEAL DETECTION SUMP - 



DRAIN GRAVEL 



SMI - 1996. 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 



FIGURE 2-8 

TYPICAL BARREN 

AND PREGNANT 

POND CROSS SECTIONS 



2-29 



vessel at a temperature of 265"F and a pressure of 30 
psi. The gold-bearing solution would be cooled to 
1 50°F and stored in a tank prior to being pumped to the 
electrowinning cells. 

Electrowinning. The cooled solution would be 
pumped through the electrowinning cell and the 
precious metal would be plated onto stainless steel 
mesh cathodes. The loaded cathodes would be 
removed from the electrowinning cell and washed with 
water at 100 psi pressure. The precious metal slurry 
would be pumped through a filter press to recover the 
metal particulates, which would be dried in an oven 
prior to refining. Periodically, the sludge that has 
accumulated on the bottom of the electrowinning cell 
would be removed and refined with the cathode metal. 

Refining and Dore Bar Production. The dried 
precious metal sludge and cathodes would be mixed 
with the appropriate fluxes and melted in a propane- 
fired furnace. The capacity of the furnace would be 1 .2 
million BTU per hour. The precious metal would be 
heated to approximately 1,800° Celsius. The molten 
bullion would be cast into dore bars for shipment to a 
refinery and the slag would be poured into a mold, 
crushed and stored in drums for periodic shipment to a 
smelter for precious metal recovery. YMC would have 
to follow the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
(RCRA) for hazardous waste storage requirements. 

2.1.5.2 Reagent Handling 

Lime. Lime would be added to the ore stream by a 
belt feeder following secondary crushing so that 
thorough mixing of the lime and ore can occur. About 
five pounds of lime per ton of ore would be used to 
reach a protective alkalinity range at or above pH 10.5. 



Lime would be delivered approximately twice a week 
by truck to a 60-ton storage silo at the crusher site. 

Sodium Cyanide. Solid sodium cyanide would be 
delivered by truck to the site in briquette form. Most 
likely, the material would be shipped from a Nevada 
distribution point and transported to the site by a 
licensed hauler via State Highway 89 from its junction 
with U.S. Highway 93. The material would be 
available in three possible packaging systems: (1) 
stainless steel bins, (2) steel-reinforced, polyethylene- 
lined, plywood boxes or (3) bulk containers. As 
needed, the briquettes would be dissolved in a mixing 
tank and the resulting solution would be pumped into 
a solution storage tank at the processing plant. The 
resulting liquid cyanide product would be used to 
maintain the cyanide concentration of the barren 
solution at one pound per ton. Sodium cyanide would 
be delivered to the mine as needed, approximately two 
or three times per month. The empty containers would 
be recycled by the hauler when cyanide is delivered to 
the site. 

Caustic Soda. Caustic soda would be added to the 
barren solution when required to maintain protective 
alkalinity in the system. Because the bulk of the 
alkalinity would be provided by lime, caustic soda 
consumption would be low. One truckload (about 20 
tons) of caustic soda would be delivered approximately 
once each month. Dry caustic soda would be stored in 
the process storage area. Liquid caustic soda would be 
stored in a tank at the ADR plant. 

Anti-scaling Agent. Antiscalant would be added to 
the pregnant solution ahead of the carbon columns and 
also to the barren feed pumps. Insulated bulk tanks and 
metering pumps for antiscalant would be provided by 



2-30 



the supplier. Tanker trucks would deliver antiscalant to 
the mine approximately once a month. 

The specific antiscalant agent which would be used 
has not been selected, and the actual chemical used 
would depend on the chemistry of the makeup water 
and the ore (particularly calcium, carbonate and sulfate 
concentrations). Antiscalants are generally water 
softening agents added to the makeup water and are not 
a hazardous material. 

2.1.6 ANCILLARY FACILITIES AND 
PROCEDURES 

2.1.6.1 Access Road 

Access to the site from Wickenburg or Prescott 
would be via State Highway 89 to Yarnell, then on 
Mina Road to the mine entrance and office. Public 
access to Mina Road would not be restricted by 
proposed operations except when closed for blasting. 

2. 1. 6.2 Electrical Power Supply 

The majority of electric power required at the mine 
would be supplied by on-site generators. Power for the 
crushing circuit would be provided by an on-site diesel- 
fueled generator with 820-kW capacity. A second 
generator with 365-kW capacity would be at the ADR 
Plant. (An additional 365-kW generator at the ADR 
plant would serve as a backup generator.) Each 
generator would be operated within a contained area 
(roughly 1 2 feet by 60 feet). This contained area would 
be underlain by a concrete pad or a synthetic liner. 
Arizona Public Service would continue to supply low- 
voltage electricity to the mine site, powering the mine 
office and maintenance shop. Step-down transformers 
would be used as necessary. 



Water supply pumps would be powered by line 
power supplied by Arizona Public Service and by 
dedicated generators at the well sites. Well TW-01 
would be powered by a diesel-fueled generator with 25- 
kW capacity, and Well 2BCD would be powered by a 
diesel-fueled generator with 113-kW capacity. The 
remaining wells and pump stations would be powered 
by overhead line power. 

The maximum annual electrical power requirement 
for the project would be 8,915.000 kWh as shown in 
Table 2-4. 

2.1.6.3 Outdoor Lighting 

YMC has proposed that outdoor lighting be used at 
project facilities to extend operating hours beyond 
daylight, as well as for security and safety. Portable 
light plants (metal halide) would be required to light the 
active ore and waste removal mining area and the active 
waste rock dump areas. Lighting would also be 
necessary at the crusher, ADR plant and shop. It is 
anticipated that five 6-kW diesel-powered light plants 
would be employed during operations. All lights 
would be hooded and directed away from the highway 
and residences to avoid unnecessary glare. 

2.1.6.4 Water Use and Storage 

The average water supply required for dust 
suppression, ore processing and potable uses is 
approximately 100 gpm or 144,000 gallons per day. 
Water would be required for approximately five to six 
years during operations and two to three years during 
mine closure. 

The estimated average ore processing requirement 
would be approximately 48 gpm (approximately 20 



2-31 



TABLE 2-4 
Electrical Power Equipment 



Facility 


Power 
draw 
(HP) 


Power 
draw 
(kW) 


Operated 
hours/day 


Operated 
days/year 


Power required 
(kWh/year) 


Crusher 


875 


652 


24 


260 


4.071.522 


Leach/ADR Plant 


400 


298 


24 


365 


2.612.933 


Maintenance 


21 


16 


24 


260 


97,717 


Assay lab 


68 


51 


8 


260 


105,472 


Water supply pumps 


300 


224 


24 


365 


1,959.700 


Administration office 


29 


22 


12 


260 


67.471 


Total 










8.914,815 



gallons per ton of ore or 480,000 gallons per week at 
seven days per week). The estimated water 
requirement for dust control in the crushing circuit 
would be approximately 4 to 10 gpm (72.000 gallons 
per week). The estimated water requirement for dust 
control on roads would be approximately 27 gpm 
(200.000 gallons per week). Potable water would be 
supplied to the ADR plant, the crusher site, office, 
maintenance shop and in portable coolers as necessary. 

Water Supply Sources. Based on hydrogeologic 
testing completed in 1996. YMC has proposed that 
groundwater be pumped from existing wells at four 
locations, as shown in Figure 2-9 and described below 
in Table 2-5. 

Well YMC-04 and the Section 28 well field are 
private wells on land owned by YMC. Well TW-01 
was developed by YMC on public land through a 
BLM-authorized right-of-way. Well 2BCD is on State 
Trust land and is registered to the Arizona State Land 
Department. YMC has filed right-of-way and use 
permit applications with the State Land Department for 
use of this well. 



Any groundwater encountered during mining would 
be diverted to an in-pit sump and used for dust 
suppression. This would likely be an insignificant and 
unreliable water supply source. 

Water Transport and Storage. YMC proposes to 
transport water from these four locations to mine-site 
water storage facilities in above-ground HDPE, PVC 
and steel pipe. The water supply pipelines would cross 
federal, state and private land. Rights-of-way 
authorizations by the BLM and the Arizona State Land 
Department would be necessary. The proposed 
pipeline construction and access corridors would be 
approximately 25 feet wide. The pipeline would be VA 
or 4V2 inches in diameter and placed directly on the 
ground and follow existing roads and disturbance 
where possible to minimize new surface disturbance. 
The proposed pipeline corridors are shown in Figure 
2-9. 

Water from Well YMC-04 would be pumped to a 
10.000-gallon freestanding steel storage tank at the 
maintenance facility. As necessary, a 5.000-gallon 
water truck would transport water from this tank to 
another 10.000-gallon storage tank at the crusher. 



2-32 




WELL TW-01 



\ BASIN 



PIPE EXPLANATION 



1T0 2 
2 TO 3 



HDPF 
PVC 





3 TO 4 


PVC 


35 




5 TO 6 


PVC 


4.5 




6 TO 7 


HDPE 


2.3 




• WELL 2BCD 



SCALE IN FEET 



EXPLANATION 

;ONTOUR - 10O0-FT INTERVAL 
O PUMP STATION 

— ^ WATER LINE CORRIDOR - PRIVATE LAND 
— ^— WATER LINE CORRIDOR - BLM LAND 
■ ■ WATER LINE CORRIDOR - STATE LAND 



X 



DELINEATED WETLANDS 



Mining P o- • - ' 



PROPOSED YARNELL. PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA 



WATER SUPPLY AND 
PIPELINE CORRIDORS 



Table 2-5 
Water Supply Sources 



Arizona Dept. of Water Resources 
Well Registration Number 


Legal description 


Long-term 
sustainable 
yield (gpm) 


Land 
ownership 


55-806970L 
(YMC-04) 


SEl/4ofSWl/4ofNW 1/4 of 
Section 14. T10N. R5W 


20 


Private 


55-550684 
(TW-01) 


NEl/4ofNE l/4ofNE 1/4 of 
Section 23. Tl ON. R5W 


10-20 


BLM 


55-804048 
(Well 2BCD) 


SEl/4ofSW ]/4ofNW 1/4 of 
Section 2, T9N. R5W 


50 


Arizona State 
Trust land 


55-520462. 55-524691, 55-525982 
(Section 28 well field) 


SW ]/4ofNE l/4of SW 1/4 of 
Section 28, Tl ON, R5W 


60* 


Private 



*Signifies the aggregate yield from three wells 
Sources: Sustainable Yield - pump testing and historic information 
Land ownership - Yavapai County Assessor 



Water from the Section 28 well field would be 
pumped directly into a 1 0.000-gallon storage tank at the 
well field. Water would be transported from this pump 
station to the freshwater pond near the ADR Plant. 
Two intermediate pumping stations, each consisting of 
a 1,000-gallon water storage tank and two booster 
pumps, would be constructed in Section 22 (within the 
pipeline right-of-way) to boost the water up Yarnell 
Hill to the mine. 

Water from Well TW-01 would be pumped directly 
to the freshwater pond near the ADR Plant. Water 
from Well 2BCD would be pumped to the 1 0.000- 
gallon water storage tank at the Section 28 well field. 

2.1.6.5 ANFO/Explosive Storage 

Ammonium nitrate used in blasting would be 
delivered as bulk prill. The prill would be stored in an 
approved 30-ton silo adjacent to the maintenance 
facility. Explosives would be delivered by licensed 
haulers and stored on site in approved storage facilities 
(bulletproof explosives magazines). Magazines and 



detonating devices would be kept an appropriate 
distance from the ammonium nitrate storage silo. All 
employees responsible for explosives would be trained 
and certified by government agencies as required. 

2.1.6.6 Fuel Storage 

Diesel and gasoline would be stored in above 
ground, closed steel tanks adjacent to the maintenance 
facility, at least one mile from the explosives 
magazines. The tanks would be within a bermed 
containment area, lined with an impervious synthetic 
liner covered with rock to minimize any impacts from 
spills. The containment area would be designed to hold 
1 00 percent of both tank capacities, plus a 25-year, 24- 
hour rainfall event. The diesel and gasoline storage 
tanks would have 10,000- and 5.000-gallon capacities, 
respectively. Fuel would be delivered to the mining 
equipment via a service vehicle. Warning signs would 
be posted at fuel storage areas and containment berms. 

Propane would heat the mine office during winter 
months and fire the carbon reactivation kiln and the 



2-35 



smelting furnace. The propane vendor would supply 
and install tanks at the mine office and processing plant 
in accordance with current safety regulations. 

Diesel-powered generators would provide electricity 
to some water supply pumps. Fuel for these generators 
would be stored at the water well sites. 

2.1.6.7 Reclamation Soil Stockpiles 

In areas of the site to be covered or disturbed, 
available soil would be stripped (where it is present) 
and salvaged for use in reclamation. Soils on steep 
slopes and boulder areas of the site would be 
selectively stripped due to inaccessibility. An area near 
a topsoil stockpile would be made a plant nursery for 
species protected under the Arizona Native Plant Act. 
The Act includes a provision to let a commercial 
nursery take the plants for resale. Primary locations of 
reclamation soil stockpiles were shown in Figure 2-2. 
Smaller locations for stockpiles may also be necessary 
at unspecified locations. 



according to Yavapai County Health Department 
standards. The portable facilities would be chemical 
toilets which would be moved periodically as 
operations dictate. Waste from the chemical toilets 
would be hauled off-site by the licensed vendor 
supplying the toilets. 

2.1.6.9 Potable Water 

Wash water and drinking water would be piped to 
the mine office from Well YMC-04. Small storage 
tanks would be placed at the shop and ADR plant and 
filled from the freshwater storage pond as necessary. 
YMC would comply with all federal and state 
regulations for drilling, completion and pumping of 
water supply wells. Bottled water may also be 
purchased for drinking from a local vendor. Any 
groundwater used would be treated as necessary to 
meet EPA primary and secondary drinking water 
standards. 

2.1.6.10 Maintenance and Warehouse Facility 



2.1.6.8 Sanitary and Solid Waste Disposal 

Refuse produced on site would be handled and 
disposed of according to Yavapai County and state 
requirements. Trash would be temporarily stored in a 
receptacle at the mine site and hauled off site to a local 
licensed municipal waste disposal facility. Items which 
may be classified as hazardous would be appropriately 
packaged and shipped by a licensed hauler to a Class I 
landfill for disposal. 

The project would use both permanent and portable 
sewage facilities. The permanent facilities would 
consist of a system of engineered collection piping, a 
septic tank and accompanying leach field designed 



The maintenance shop (approximately 6,000 square 
feet) would be erected just west of the pit area. Heavy 
mobile equipment repair, maintenance and service 
would be performed in the shop. The shop area would 
also be set aside for light truck maintenance, welding 
and tool storage. The shop floor is designed to 
eliminate any contamination of the surrounding area by 
machine fluids. A floor sump would be constructed to 
contain any spills that may occur. 

2.1.6.11 Mine Office 

Administrative facilities (approximately 3,600 
square feet) would be provided on site at the mine 
office for the operating management and staff. The 



2-36 



mine manager, department heads and engineering 
support group would be assigned offices in these 
facilities (see Figure 2-2). Accounting, payroll and 
purchasing would also operate within the mine office. 

2.1.6.12 Assay Laboratory 

An assay laboratory in the ADR building would 
include a sample preparation area, analytical area and 
offices for lab personnel. The sample preparation area 
includes equipment for drying, crushing, splitting and 
pulverizing samples. The analytical area includes 
provisions for weighing, wet chemical analyses and 
atomic absorption assays. Most of the samples assayed 
would be mine grade control samples. 

Storage for pulps would be provided adjacent to the 
lab and added to as needed. These storage units would 
also provide space for samples brought from the pit. 

2.1.6.13 Fencing and Security 

The mine and process area would be fenced by 
barbed wire with several locked gates. The gate at the 
mine entrance off Mina Road would be manned by 
office staff. The mine site would be manned 24 hours 
per day, seven days per week. A six-foot tall, chain- 
link fence topped with three strands of barbed wire 
would be installed around the process area, leach pad 
and all solution ponds to prevent entry by unauthorized 
personnel. Movement of grazing animals would also 
be restricted by the chain-link fence, but the fencing 
would not exclude entry into the project area by all 
wildlife. 



2.1.6.14 Fire Protection, Emergency Response and 
Safety 

Adequate fire protection is necessary to protect the 
resources, facilities and personnel of the mining 
company and the community and to maintain 
compliance with MSHA regulations, the Arizona 
mining code and applicable state and county building 
codes. The location of the Yarnell Project is such that 
local fire/rescue facilities in Yarnell can assist with 
medical and/or fire emergencies, if needed. As 
specified by MSHA, YMC would conduct first aid 
training for all employees. On-site water tanks would 
be available for fire protection. 

An Emergency Notification Plan, Contingency Plan 
and Spill Prevention Control and Counter Measures 
Plan (SPCC) would be prepared to cover actions to be 
taken in the event of an on-site spill, fire, release of 
toxic gas or other emergency. These actions would 
include notification procedures, as well as loading and 
unloading procedures, description of containment 
structures, surveillance and inventory control 
procedures for these critical materials. The plans 
would also include lists of safety and emergency 
response equipment on site, as well as a personnel 
safety training program. As part of the planning 
requirements, trained staff would be assigned to each 
shift, including weekends. 

To provide for the safety and well-being of all 
individuals involved with the project, the general public 
and local wildlife, the following precautions would be 
taken. 



♦ Warning signs would be placed on the chain- 
link fence at 200-foot intervals and entrance 
gates would be kept closed. Additional gates 



2-37 



would be placed to block vehicular access to 
the entire mine site. The open pit and waste 
dump areas would be surrounded by a four- 
strand barbed wire fence. 

♦ All chemicals would be stored in accordance 
with applicable regulations within the fenced 
area. Sodium cyanide and acid would be stored 
separately from each other and from other 
incompatible materials. 

♦ Open ponds and ditches containing sodium 
cyanide solution would be covered with netting 
or other approved protection (see Figure 2-6). 

♦ Sufficient calcium hypochlorite and/or hydrogen 
peroxide would be maintained on site to 
neutralize possible spills. 

♦ Empty sodiumcyanide containers (if applicable) 
would be triple-rinsed, rendered unusable and 
removed to an approved disposal site or recycled 
back to the manufacturer. 

♦ All employees would be trained and certified 
where required in the safe use of chemicals. 

♦ Hard hats, safety glasses and steel-toed boots 
would be worn by all personnel on site. Face 
shields or goggles, rubber aprons, gloves and 
respirators would be worn when handling 
chemicals. This safety equipment plus earplugs 
would be used at all appropriate times to meet 
MSHA requirements. 

♦ A cyanide antidote kit, oxygen bottle, first aid 
kit, freshwater shower and eye wash station 
would be maintained in the plant area. An 
additional cyanide antidote kit, oxygen bottle, 
first aid kit and trauma kit would be kept in the 
mine office. All employees would be instructed 
in their use. 

♦ At least two trained people would be present 
when a shipment of sodiumcyanide is delivered 



to the mine site and transferred from a briquette 
form to a liquid. 
♦ All applicable county, state and federal rules and 
regulations would be followed. 

2. 1. 6. 15 Drainage, Diversion and Sediment Control 

The generation of sediment with surface water 
runoff would be minimized by mine site features and 
diversion channels designed for overall surface water 
control. The heap leach pad. solution storage pond and 
ADR plant areas are designed as areas of zero surface 
water discharge. 

The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan, 
prepared by YMC for approval by the EPA, would 
address the management of runoff that could carry 
sediment from the waste rock dumps, roads and parking 
areas. Elements of this plan are described in Section 
2. 1 .2 and shown in Figure 2-4. Discharge from the 
storm water outfalls would occur during storms. The 
peak flow and runoff volume that would be expected 
from three different sized storm events are shown in 
Figure 2-10. From a 100-year, 24-hour precipitation 
event, the maximum peak flow ( 1 64 cfs) would be from 
the undisturbed area and soil stockpile adjacent to the 
SWRD(SWO-02) while the maximum runoff would be 
10.9 acre-feet from the office and undisturbed area 
above the NWRD (SWO-07). 

Mine Pit. The mine pit would generally be a 
containment basin for runoff from the mine pit slopes. 
During operations, runoff and any seepage would be 
collected and used for dust suppression. After mining, 
the pit would be partially backfilled with waste rock 
and a drainage channel would be established at an 
average grade of 0.5 to two percent. At that time, a 



2-38 



PRECIPITATION 



UNDISTURBED AND 

RECLAMATION SOIL 

STORAGE AREA 

RUNOFF 
1.8 
2.5 
64 3.7 



PRECIPITATION 



PRECIPITATION 



SOUTH WASTE ROCK 

DUMP & CRUSHER 

PAD AREA 



OUTFALL SWO-01 



OUTFALL SWO-02 



FUTURE PHASE ll&llll 

LEACH PAD AREA 
(WASTE ROCK FILL AREA) 



FLOW 


RUNOFF 




FLOW 


RUNOFF 


6 


4.6 


1.2 


83 


6.4 26 


1.6 


125 


9.6 









OUTFALL SWO-03 



OUTFALL SWO-04 — - 



PRECIPITATION 



FUTURE PHASE ll&lll 
LEACH PAD AREA 
(UNDISTURBED ) 



FLOW 
36 

-:- 

73 



RUNOFF 



PRECIPITATION 



PRECIPITATION 



PRECIPITATION 



SERVICE ROAD 

CONSTRUCTED OF 

WASTE ROCK 



FLOW 

I 2 



RUNOFF 

9 



OUTFALL SWO-05 



PRECIPITATION 



NORTH WASTE 
ROCK DUMP 



UNDISTURBED, OFFICE 

& RECLAMATION 
SOIL STORAGE AREA 



MOTE; SWO-06* 

SEDIMENT RETENTION STRUCTURES 

WOULD BE DESIGNED TO CONTAIN THE 

25-rEAR. 24 HOURS EVENT. 

FLOW FROM THE DESIGN EVENT COULD OCCUR 

DEPENDING ON THE VOLUME OF 

SEDIMENT CONTAINED IN THE STRUCTURE- 



3.2 
4.8 



SHOP & HAUL 










ROADS CONSTRUCTED 
OF WASTE ROCK 






PRECIPITATION 


FLOW 


RUNOFF 
2.2 




SOUTH 
ROCK 


WASTE 
DUMP 




38 


3.0 








1 4.5 


FLOW 


RUNOFF 




OUTFALL SWO-08 


3.9 


68 


5.5 








103 


f 3- 1 





SEDIMENT RETENTION 
STRUCTURE 



FLOW 




103 



RUNOFF 


2.6 



OUTFALL SWO-09* 

NOTE: SWO-09 

FlOW k RUNOFF 

ARE PRE-MINING (MAXIMUM) & 

WOULD DECREASE PCST-MIMNG 





i 


SERVICE ROAD 


CONSTRUCTED OF 


WASTE ROCK 


FLOW 


RUNOFF 














50 


f 1 ' 5 



OUTFALL SWO-06* 



OUTFALL SWO-07 



RUNOFF 

5 . 3 
7.3 



EVENT 
10-YEAR, 24 HOURS 

25-YEAR, 24 HOURS 
100-YEAR, 24 HOURS 



PRECIPITATION 
3.8 



DEPTH (INCHES) 
RUNOFF 



FLOW - 
RUNOFF 



PEAK FLOW IN CUBIC FEET PER SECOND (CFS) 
= VOLUME IN ACRE-FEET (AC-FT) 



PROPOSED YAKNELL PROJECT 
YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA 



FIGURE 2-10 



STORM WATER OUTFALLS 
PEAK FLOW AND RUNOFF 



sediment retention structure would be constructed, if 
necessary, to detain runoff from the pit. The need for 
any NPDES permit would he determined at that time. 

Waste Rock Dump. Diversion and drainage around 
the waste rock dumps (WRDs) have been designed to 
convey the 100-year, 24-hour storm (4.8 inches). The 
sediment retention structures below the WRDs have 
been designed for the 25-year, 24-hour precipitation 
event (3.8 inches). Upon reclamation, the WRDs 
would be regraded, covered with soil or a suitable 
growth medium and revegetated. The sediment 
retention structures would be partially filled to establish 
drainage and be stabilized to minimize erosion. Waste 
rock would be placed to within five feet of the 
embankment crest. Storage of runoff would occur in 
pore space and the area above the waste rock. The 
drainage diversions are permanent structures and would 
be retained. 

Discharge from the sediment retention structures for 
the NWRD and SWRD would be permitted as outfalls 
SWO-06 and 09, respectively. As proposed by YMC, 
these structures were sized to contain the 25-year, 24- 
hour storm. This capacity is equivalent to containment 
of runoff from the 10-year, 24-hour storm plus two to 
three years of accumulated sediment under average 
conditions. The structures would be flow-through 
structures with the embankments constructed from 
compacted, coarse waste rock. A coarse rock zone 
over a selected reach of the embankment crest and 
downstream slope would serve as the emergency 
spillway and would be designed to safely pass the peak 
flow from the 100-year, 24-hour storm (50 cubic feet 
per second (cfs) and 103 cfs for the NWRD and 
SWRD sediment retention structures, respectively). 



The total capacity of the sediment retention 
structures for the NWRD and SWRD would be about 
3.25 acre-feet and 5.47 acre-feet, respectively 
(including one foot of freeboard). The structures 
would be total containment structures and no discharge 
is anticipated. However, any discharge from the 
sediment retention structures would be monitored and 
would be subject to effluent limitation guidelines. It is 
anticipated that water entering the structure would seep 
into the embankment and infiltrate into the materials 
below the embankment before seeping through the 
embankment. No dewatering of the structures is 
planned. However, any stored water may be used for 
dust suppression. 

Sediment from the retention structures would be 
inspected annually and removed, if necessary. Annual 
sediment entering the pond was estimated by YMC as 
being equivalent to the volume from a two-year, 24- 
hour storm. This volume is roughly 10 percent of the 
capacity of the sediment retention structure. For the 
25-year. 24-hour storm, sediment volume would be 31 
percent of the capacity of the NWRD and 46 percent of 
the capacity of the SWRD sediment retention structure. 
This indicates that with larger storms, sediment 
removal may be required more frequently. Sediment 
would be disposed of by burial in the waste rock dump. 
The waste rock would be sampled and tested for acid 
generation potential and leaching of metals. Sediment 
(derived from the waste rock) would not be sampled. 

Heap Leach Facility. It is proposed that 
precipitation runoff and drainage from the heap be 
collected in the solution ponds. A diversion channel 
designed to convey the 1 00-year, 24-hour storm would 
be constructed on the upstream side of the leach pad for 
all three phases of heap construction to prevent 
upstream runoff from entering the leach pad. 



2-41 



Roads and Other Disturbed Areas. Runoff from 
haul roads, other access roads, waste rock fills and 
other areas on the site (runoff in contact with waste 
rock) would be collected and discharged from outfalls 
SWO-01, 03, 05 and 08 under an individual permit 
issued by the EPA. Storm water discharges from 
outfalls SWO-02, 04 and 07 would not contact waste 
rock and would be authorized by the EPA under the 
general Multi-Sector Permit. These discharges would 
be from diversion channels routing runoff around 
structures. Straw bales, silt fences and other best 
management practices would be used along the 
diversion channels, ditches and swales, draining roads 
and areas filled with waste rock, if required, to control 
sediment. These areas would be compacted and would 
not be expected to generate substantial quantities of 
sediment. 



Decommissioning of the heap leach facility, 
solution/process ponds and associated ancillary 
facilities and structures would be performed to meet 
requirements established by ADEQ in the APP and the 
guidelines within the BLM Cyanide Management Plan 
and Surface Management Regulations (43 CFR 3809). 
Closure activities on private land would conform to the 
Arizona Mine Inspector's Final Mined Land 
Reclamation Rules. 

Closure would include detoxification/neutralization 
of the spent ore on the leach pad and solutions 
contained in the process ponds, demolition and salvage 
of the associated ancillary facilities and structures, 
reclamation and revegetation of these areas and 
monitoring. Figure 2-11 shows the facilities layout 
after reclamation. 



2.1.7 CLOSURE AND RECLAMATION 

Closure and reclamation would be conducted in 
accordance with the MPO, as summarized below. The 
BLM, ADEQ and State Mine Inspector's Office would 
require YMC to post adequate bonds to meet federal 
and state requirements. 

2.1.7.1 Closure and Reclamation of Facilities 
Associated with Cyanide Use 

Closure procedures to be implemented following 
the cessation of mining and ore processing would 
provide for removal of potential pollutants or 
contaminants. Protection of surface water, 
groundwater and air would be provided by 
decommissioning all facilities and returning the land to 
multiple uses that existed prior to mining. 



Heap Leach Facility. The heap leach facility 
closure is divided into two separate tasks. The first 
task would be to detoxify and neutralize the heap 
material. The second task would include regrading, 
establishment of a suitable growth medium and 
revegetation. 

As gold recoveries begin to decrease, freshwater 
would be added to the leaching circuit to begin the 
heap-rinsing process. This passive rinsing would be 
performed untkl gold values in the rinsate from the 
heap reach a level at which it becomes uneconomical to 
recover. Rinsing with water increases the natural 
degradation process of cyanide, yet allows recovery of 
residual gold. 

Following this initial passive rinsing stage, active 
rinsing with hydrogen peroxide or an equivalent 
oxidizing agent would occur until the required water 



2-42 



quality standards established by ADEQ are met. These 
standards include reducing the WAD cyanide level to 
0.2 mg/1. stabilizing the pH between 6.0 and 8.5 and the 
rinsate meeting the water quality standards as set forth 
in the APP. If feasible, selected species of bacteria 
may be added to the rinse water to speed up the 
detoxification process. 

All rinsate would be collected following completion 
of detoxification and neutralization procedures for 
appropriate removal by evaporation using sprayers or 
other means. Upon completion of all detoxification/ 
neutralization, the collection system would be removed 
and the area reclaimed as described in the following 
section. 

Once the heap leach material has been detoxified 
and neutralized, the heap leach facility would be 
regraded to promote runoff and avoid ponding. This 
regrading would enhance the blending of the heap 
leach area with the surrounding topography by 
providing a smooth transition. Slopes would be 
regraded to 50 percent. 

The establishment of suitable growth media would 
consist of placement of reclamation soil (topsoil) or the 
incorporation of soil amendments prior to seeding. 
Revegetation would be performed to meet post-mining 
land uses such as wildlife habitat, open space or 
grazing. 

Solution Storage Ponds. Closure of the solution 
storage ponds would include the evaporation of any 
remaining water followed by regrading the ponds and 
revegetating the disturbed area. Spray evaporation may 
be incorporated to enhance the evaporation process. 
Land application by spraying treated water may be 
considered if the water meets ADEQ water quality 



standards. Accumulated precipitates within the ponds 
would be sampled and analyzed for proper disposal. 
Analysis would include pH, cyanide and leachable 
metals following ADEQ requirements. Any hazardous 
materials would be disposed of off-site at an 
appropriate disposal facility in accordance with state 
and federal regulations. Non-hazardous materials 
would be placed in an appropriate disposal area on site 
or buried. 

The pond liner would be folded over and covered in 
place to a minimum depth of five feet below the final 
reclamation surface. The pond area would then be 
backfilled and the surface regraded to establish a 
reclamation configuration compatible with the 
surrounding terrain. 

The establishment of a suitable growth medium 
would be performed by the placement of topsoil or the 
incorporation of soil amendments prior to seeding. 
Revegetation would be performed to meet post-mining 
land uses. Seeding would occur in the fall to allow 
plant growth in the spring when temperature and 
moisture conditions are optimum. 

Ancillary Facilities and Buildings. Reclamation 
would include proper disposal of buildings, equipment, 
piping, scrap, utility lines, reagents and other hazardous 
or toxic materials, demolition of buildings and 
structures for salvage, regrading of the areas and 
revegetation. 

The process plant and associated pipelines involved 
with the cyanide process would be neutralized, 
decontaminated and removed during the 
detoxification/neutralization process of the heap leach 
facility. Excess reagents would be resealed in 
containers and returned to suppliers or used at other 



2-45 



mine sites. Ancillary buildings and structures would be 
dismantled for salvage. Non-salvageable items such as 
concrete and scrap material and equipment would be 
buried on site or disposed of off site in compliance 
with state and federal regulations. 

Regrading of these areas would be performed 
following demolition and salvage. Foundations would 
be left in place and covered with a minimum of 24 
inches of fill. Other areas would be ripped to relieve 
compaction, and the areas graded to create a suitable 
growth medium prior to revegetation. Topsoil may not 
be required, as the substrate material in these areas may 
be more conducive to plant growth than the heap leach 
and waste rock dump areas. Topsoil may be added, if 
necessary. 

As for the other mine-related facilities, seeding 
would occur in the fall following regrading activities to 
allow plant growth in the spring when temperature and 
moisture conditions are optimum. Mulch would be 
applied immediately following seeding, if necessary. 
Efforts would be made to minimize the potential to 
introduce exotic seeds into the mulch mix. 

2.1.7.2 Reclamation of Other Facilities 

Reclamation of other facilities would occur 
following closure activities. These areas include the 
waste rock dumps, the open pit, access and haul roads, 
powerlines. fences, water pipelines, sediment and 
diversion structures and other site disturbances. 

Waste Rock Dumps. YMC proposed to shape the 
waste rock dumps to a 50 percent slope by regrading 
approximately 270,000 cubic yards of material to 
achieve the final waste rock dump reclamation 
configurations. Available reclamation soil or topsoil 



may be placed proportionally over regraded areas or 
soil amendments incorporated to establish a suitable 
growth medium. 

The waste rock dumps would have two types of 
surface conditions before reclamation. The first would 
be loose, undulating surface resulting from the waste 
rock being dumped at its angle of repose without 
dozing or grading. The second would be a hard-packed 
top surface from haul truck traffic. The loose areas 
would be regraded by dozing materials downward from 
the top of the dump face to provide a uniform surface 
for placement of reclamation soil. The hard-packed 
areas on top of the dumps and on the access roads 
would be ripped, scarified and graded to minimize 
erosion and facilitate revegetation. After dump 
reclamation, the slopes would be stable, as documented 
in the Facilities Design Report submitted by YMC to 
ADEQ. 

Reclamation of the NWRD would begin after the 
site is filled with waste rock. Reclamation of the 
SWRD would take place just prior to the end of 
mining. Reclamation of the dumps concurrent with 
operation is not possible due to the proposed method of 
dump advancement (by end-dumping from the top 
surface of the waste rock dump). 

Open Pit. Pit slopes and benches have been 
designed to provide a stable configuration. Therefore, 
reclamation of the pit area would be limited to features 
that would restrict public access. This would include 
constructing a barbed-wire fence around the pit 
perimeter, with berms across all haul and access roads 
into the pit. Berms would be a minimum of five feet 
tall with signs posted at potential access points 
identifying the potential hazard. In addition, the mine 
pit would be partially backfilled with waste rock to 



2-46 



allow precipitation runoff collected in the pit to flow 
through its southwest end. At its northern end, the pit 
would be backfilled with approximately 40 feet of 
waste rock to an elevation of 4,660 feet. The backfill 
would slope southwest for approximately 500 feet until 
it reached an elevation of 4,640 feet. From this point, 
the pit bottom would be relatively flat until its 
southwest end is reached (as shown in the MPO, Figure 
7.5). Backfilling would be started after completion of 
mining and a drainage channel established (see Figure 
2-1 1 ) at an average grade of 0.5 to two percent along 
the pit bottom to provide flow without excessive 
erosion. A sediment control structure would be 
constructed at the southwest end of the pit if needed. 

Flat benches that are accessible would be ripped 
and/or scarified to produce rough surfaces for 
anchoring any soil materials. Surface material would 
be left in a loose, rocky condition to aid in moisture 
collection, decrease wind erosion losses and encourage 
establishment of seedlings in small surface crevices. 
Some small depressions would be left on the surfaces 
to aid in moisture retention. These areas would be used 
to seed native species and transplant selected native 
shrubs. In addition, over time, some natural 
encroachment of native species adapted to rock outcrop 
habitats would occur in isolated groupings. 



to achieve the final reclamation configuration. Ripping 
would be conducted to relieve compacted areas and 
provide a more suitable growth medium. Available 
topsoil may be placed in areas requiring additional soil 
growth medium. 

Other Facilities. All other miscellaneous 
disturbances such as fences, water lines, sediment and 
diversion structures would be reclaimed. Reclamation 
would entail removing water lines, minor regrading and 
revegetation of disturbances. Sediment structures 
would be filled in to promote natural runoff and the 
areas stabilized with waste rock to enhance erosional 
stability. The shop, office, equipment lay down area 
and other miscellaneous disturbance areas would be 
reclaimed by dismantling and removing buildings, 
foundation removal (if high above reclamation grades) 
or burial, ripping of compacted surfaces, regrading and 
revegetation. 

Overhead lines and poles used to distribute 
electrical power for the project would be removed upon 
reclamation, and the powerline corridor would be 
revegetated with native species. The power-generating 
equipment on site would be salvaged and removed, 
with the generator pad regraded, covered with soil and 
revegetated. 



Access/Haul Roads. Except for roads which the 
BLM wants to remain on the property, access and haul 
roads would be reclaimed following mine closure. 
Reclamation would include regrading and revegetating 
the disturbed areas to blend with the surrounding 
topography. Culverts installed for the mining 
operations would be plugged and buried in place or 
removed and salvaged, with the natural drainage 
restored. Approximately 10.000 cubic yards of 
material would be moved during the regrading process 



Water supply and monitoring wells on YMC's 
private land include YMC-02, YMC-04, YMC-05 and 
YMC-06. These wells would be sealed after the post- 
closure monitoring period, unless they were to be used 
as future water supply sources. YMC-06 would be 
mined through in the first year of operations. 

YMC's plans for wells on public land call for all 
wells that are not assigned to the BLM for multiple-use 
purposes to be sealed by a drilling contractor certified 



2-47 



by the state according to abandonment procedures set 
forth by the ADWR. Wells on public land include: 

♦ Monitoring wells YMC-01 and YMC-03: The 
BLM would make a determination of use of 
these wells after the post-closure monitoring 
period. 

♦ Observation wells TW-02 and TW-03: The 
BLM right-of-way (No. AZA-29209) expired in 
October 1 997. These wells are not proposed for 
groundwater monitoring use. They will be 
abandoned in accordance with ADWR 
procedures and BLM stipulations for 
reclamation. 

♦ Water supply Well TW-01: The BLM would 
make a use determination at the end of 
operations. 

The water supply line storage tanks, pumping 
stations and pipelines would be removed when water is 
no longer needed on the site. 

2.1.7.3 Reclamation Planning and Scheduling 
Considerations 

YMC proposes to perform reclamation to re- 
establish a productive environment to allow for 
grazing, wildlife habitat and other land uses. As such, 
the reclamation plan has been developed to achieve the 
following objectives. 

♦ Ensure public safety, reduce or eliminate 
adverse environmental impacts and reduce 
unsightly visual effects. 

♦ Re-establish a stable environment that would 
support a diverse self-sustaining vegetation 
community consistent with post-mining land 
uses. 



♦ Minimize off-site impacts by controlling 
infiltration, erosion, sedimentation and related 
degradation of existing drainages. 

Erosional Stability. Diversion channels would be 
constructed prior to commencement of operations and 
would remain following reclamation. These channels 
are intended to intercept upgradient runoff and, 
following reclamation, collect runoff from the 
reclaimed surfaces and divert the combined flow to 
natural drainages. It is proposed that the regrading 
would be conducted to minimize erosion by reducing 
the surface slopes similar to the adjacent undisturbed 
areas. 

Site runoff from the disturbed areas would be 
diverted to sediment retention structures downstream 
from the north and south WRDs. Runoff would be 
retained in these sediment retention structures prior to 
controlled discharge. Runoff from undisturbed areas 
on site would be diverted off site along the NWRD and 
along the west side of the solution storage ponds. 
Upon regrading, sediment retention structures would be 
backfilled. Proper grading would then allow for natural 
drainage patterns. 

Revegetation. Once regrading of the various 
facilities is completed, certain areas may be ripped to 
provide a suitable growth medium prior to placement of 
topsoil, addition of soil amendments and seeding. 
Topsoil stripped prior to commencement of operations 
may be re-applied to disturbed areas to assist in the 
development of a self-sustaining vegetation 
community. Alternatively, amendments may be 
incorporated into the regraded surface materials to 
create a suitable growth medium. A baseline study of 
vegetation at the proposed mine site was conducted in 
1993. Based on the results of this study, vegetation 



2-48 



species were selected for use in revegetation of the 
disturbed areas (see Table 2-6). 

Stripping and Salvage of Soils for Reclamation. 

The baseline soil survey of the proposed mine site 
(Walsh 1994) identified four horizons that contain 
between four and 30 inches of topsoil suitable for 
reclamation. All of the projected disturbed areas would 
be stripped of topsoil. However, areas on steep slopes 
and bouldery areas of the site would have selective soil 
stripping due to the inaccessibility of equipment. 



The topsoil would be stockpiled at the locations 
shown in Figure 2-2 or at additional smaller locations 
on site. The stockpile locations were selected to be 
close to the facilities to be reclaimed but in protected 
areas out of major drainages. The stockpiles would be 
constructed with 30 percent slopes (or less steep) and 
seeded with a native grass mixture to minimize 
erosional loss of topsoil. 



TABLE 2-6 
Reclamation Seed Mix for Proposed Yarnell Project 



Scientific name 


Common name 


Variety 


Application rate 
pounds PLS/acre 


Shrubs (seed 4-5) 








Acacia greggii 


Catclaw acacia 




1 


Baccharis sarothoides 


Desert broom 




1/4 


Cercocarpus montanus 


Mountain mahogany 




1 


Eriogonum fasciculatum 


Bush buckwheat 




1/4 


Gutierrezia sarothrae 


Snakeweed 




1/2 


Rhus trilobata 


Squawbush 




1/2 


Yuccas/Nolinas (seed both) 








Nolina microcarpa 


Beargrass 




1/2 


Yucca baccata 


Banana yucca 




1/2 


Perennial grasses (seed 6-8) 








Aristida purpurea 


Purple threeawn 




4 


Bouteloua curtipendula 


Sideoats grama 


Niner 


4 


Bouteloua gracilis 


Blue grama 


Hachita 


4 


Eragrostis intermedia 


Lovegrass 




1/2 


Festuca arizonica 


Arizona fescue 


Redondo 


4 


Koeleria cristata 


June grass 




1/2 


Muhlenbergia wrightii 


Shrike muhly 


El Vado 


3 


Setaria macrostachya 


Bristlegrass 




3 


Sitanion hystrix 


Squirreltail 




3 


Sporobolus cryptandrus 


Sand dropseed 




1/2 


Trichachane califomica 


Cottontop 




4 


Forbs (seed 3-4) 








Artemisia ludoviciana 


Wormwood 




1/16 


Baileya multiradiata 


Desert marigold 




1/8 


Cassia covesii 


Desert senna 




1/2 


Eschscholtzia mexicana 


Mexican gold poppy 




1/2 


Castilleja integra 


Paintbrush 




1/16 


Sphaeralcea grassulariaefolia 


Globemallow 




1/2 



2-49 



Testing would be performed during the life of the 
mine to evaluate the suitability of rinsed heap materials 
and waste rock for direct revegetation. In addition, 
varying thicknesses of topsoil would be evaluated to 
determine the most efficient soil depths for 
revegetation. 

YMC would comply with the Arizona Native Plant 
Act by salvaging and transplanting protected species of 
prickly pear cactus, yucca and beargrass on site. An 
area near the topsoil stockpile would be dedicated as a 
plant nursery and maintained as such. During 
reclamation, these plants would be re -planted. 
Alternatively, the Native Plant Act includes a provision 
to allow a commercial nursery to take the plants for 
resale. There is no permit required to move the plants 
out of areas to be disturbed and transfer them to 
another area on the project site, i.e., a nursery or 
undisturbed area. 

Reclamation Schedule. Approximately seven years 
would be required (two years for decommissioning and 
reclamation and five years of observation and 
monitoring) to complete reclamation activities 
including monitoring of the site to ensure that 
revegetation and water quality goals are achieved. The 
relatively compact nature of the project and the six-year 
life span of the mine indicate that there would be a 
limited opportunity for interim or staged reclamation. 
The manner of heap construction and leaching and the 
end-dump construction of the waste rock dumps 
preclude the ability for interim reclamation. Because 
the NWRD would be filled to capacity before the end 
of mining, an initial phase of reclamation would begin 
at that time. 



2.1.8 



MONITORING 



2.1.8.1 Revegetation 

YMC proposes to conduct vegetation sampling of 
revegetated areas during the first three growing seasons 
following seeding. Plant cover would be sampled by 
the point intercept method or equivalent at random 
locations and at an intensity level that would provide a 
statistical representation. Cover data would be 
collected at the species level to determine whether 
desirable species have been established. Undisturbed 
reference areas may be selected for sampling to provide 
a representation of the undisturbed plant community. 
Reference areas would be sampled for cover using the 
same measurement techniques. YMC proposes that 
revegetation would be considered successful if, after 
three growing seasons, the revegetated site has an 
erosionally stable environment that would support a 
native vegetation community consistent with the post- 
mining land use. The BLM would make this 
determination based on field observations of the 
progress of growth of native species. 

If this standard is not met in three years, YMC 
would consult with the Arizona Mine Inspector's 
Office and BLM to determine the best course of action 
to meet the revegetation goal. Bonds posted by YMC 
would not be released unless revegetation was 
successful. If unsuccessful, the bonds would be used 
by the BLM and Arizona Mine Inspector's Office to 
hire a contractor to perform the necessary work. 

Following closure and reclamation, observations 
would be made concerning invasion by noxious weeds 
and the occurrence of rill and gully erosion. This 
monitoring period would be for up to five years. 
Noxious weeds would likely be overgrown by native 



2-50 



species. If not. artificial means of control, such as 
herbicide, would be used. Sites exhibiting severe gully 
erosion would be stabilized and reseeded at the earliest 
opportunity to prevent site deterioration. Areas of 
unsatisfactory plant establishment would be sampled, 
amendments added if required and reseeding would 
take place in the first available planting season. 
Reclamation seed mix should be "Certified Weed 
Free." Revegetation monitoring would be performed 
annually for five years to determine if revegetation was 
successful and whether any erosion had occurred on 
reclaimed surfaces. 

2.1.8.2 Water Quality 

During operations, groundwater and surface water 
monitoring would be accomplished according to 
requirements established in the APP, including 
quarterly monitoring of the compliance well (YMC-03) 
and Cottonwood and Fools Gulch Springs (see Figure 
2-2). Well YMC-03 was drilled in 1995 for 
groundwater characterization. It is southeast of the 
planned solution storage pond area and would be the 
point of groundwater monitoring compliance 
downgradient of the heap leach pad and solution 
storage pond area. 

Water quality in existing wells YMC-01 . YMC-02 
and YMC-04 would be checked on an informational 
basis, but not used for groundwater monitoring. The 
subsurface drain outlet from the heap would be covered 
with permeable materials at reclamation to allow 
groundwater to seep from the drain but prevent 
disturbance of the drain outlet. The drain outlet would 
not be used as a monitoring point. 



Water monitoring efforts, as required by terms of 
the APP, are summarized in Table 2-7. YMC would 
conduct the monitoring program and report the results 
to ADEQ. All samples would be sent to a state- 
certified laboratory for testing. 



TABLE 2-7 

Proposed Water Quality Monitoring 

Program Summary 



Monitorins Point 


Monitoring 
Frequency 


YMC-03 


Quarterly 


Underdrain Sump 


Quarterly or when 
water is present 


Cottonwood Spring 


Quarterly or when 
water is present 


Fools Gulch Spring 


Quarterly or when 
water is present 



Post-mining groundwater monitoring would be 
conducted in compliance with ADEQ requirements in 
the APP. 

2.1.8.3 Other Monitoring 

During operations, air emissions would be 
monitored in accordance with air permit requirements. 
The structural stability, function and safety of all 
project structures and facilities would be monitored in 
accordance with APP permit requirements and standard 
engineering practices. The BLM would conduct at 
least four inspections per year to monitor compliance 
with the MPO. The BLM also would monitor 
compliance with the measures defined in the record of 
decision, the final MPO and the approved reclamation 
and closure plan. 



2-51 



2.2 ALTERNATIVES TO THE 
PROPOSED ACTION 

CEQ regulations (Section 1502.14) require the EIS 
to examine reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
action. Alternatives to the proposed action were 
developed by the BLM after a detailed review of the 
MPO and a consideration of scoping comments 
provided by the public and other government agencies. 
Each alternative was evaluated against four criteria. 

♦ Does the alternative meet the need of the project 
as stated in Chapter 1 ? 

♦ Is the alternative technically feasible? 

♦ Is the alternative economically feasible? 

♦ Is the alternative environmentally advantageous? 

Action alternatives that satisfied the above criteria 
and the no action alternative are described in detail in 
sections 2.2.1 through 2.2.3 of this chapter. 
Alternatives that did not satisfy the above criteria are 
briefly discussed in Section 2.2.5 of this chapter. 
These alternatives were eliminated from further study 
and are not analyzed in subsequent chapters. 

Alternatives to the proposed action which are 
considered in detail in this EIS include: 

♦ no action, 

♦ elimination of the South Waste Rock Dump 
(SWRD) and consolidation of waste rock into 
the North Waste Rock Dump (NWRD) and 

♦ elimination of the NWRD and consolidation 
of waste rock into the SWRD. 

A summary comparing each of the project 
alternatives is presented below. 



2.2.1 



ALTERNATIVE 1 -- NO ACTION 



The no action alternative serves as the baseline for 
evaluation of the potential effects of all other project 
alternatives. Under this alternative, the proposed action 
or other action alternatives presented within this EIS 
would not occur. 

If no mining occurs, development and use of BLM- 
managed lands within the proposed project boundaries 
would be limited to existing uses, i.e., mineral 
exploration activities, livestock grazing, open space and 
other uses. Upon completion of mineral exploration, 
the associated disturbance areas would be reclaimed 
consistent with BLM guidelines. With no mine, 
existing resource values would remain in their current 
condition subject, however, to the actions and impacts 
of natural forces and ongoing mineral exploration and 
other previously approved activities. In addition, 
mining could legally be conducted on up to five acres 
of federal land under a notice(s) as acknowledged by 
the BLM. The BLM could not prevent the action, 
although it could work with the operator to mitigate 
adverse impacts and require reclamation bonding. 
While any potential adverse impacts related to the 
proposed action and alternatives could be precluded 
with the no action alternative, any economic benefits 
related to project development would also be lost. 

However, the no action alternative does not 
necessarily preclude mining activities on project area 
lands which are not administered by the BLM. Mining 
could occur on private lands, with indirect impacts 
likely to occur on surrounding public land. Mining has 
been conducted in the past and could be conducted in 
the future without any approval by the BLM. With 
mining on private lands, existing resource values might 
not remain in their current condition. 



2-52 



2.2.2 ALTERNATIVE 2 -- ELIMINATION OF 
THE SOUTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 
AND CONSOLIDATION OF WASTE 
ROCK INTO THE NORTH WASTE 
ROCK DUMP 

The project as proposed by YMC includes the 
disposal of roughly four million tons of waste rock at 
the NWRD and seven million tons of waste rock at the 
SWRD. Roughly one million tons of waste rock would 
be used as construction materials during initial mine 
development. The proposed north and south dump 
sites cover surface areas estimated at approximately 22 
and 48 acres, respectively. Alternative 2 would 
eliminate the SWRD and confine waste rock disposal 
to the NWRD site. Other elements of the proposed 
project would remain the same under Alternative 2. 

The proposed NWRD is in a valley at the upper end 
of the Yarnell Creek basin. Expansion of the NWRD 
would encounter the following conditions. 

♦ Cottonwood Spring, Yarnell Creek and a 
delineated vegetated wetlands area are east of 
the dump site. The wetland occurs as a small 
linear strip along Yarnell Creek and extends 
through the northeast corner of the property for 
approximately 1 ,700 linear feet. The expansion 
would displace or eliminate the wetlands and 
sections of the creek and would bury 
Cottonwood Spring. 

♦ A portion of Mina Road in the northeast corner 
of the property bisects the area of expansion. 

♦ The proposed mine pit directly south of the 
dump site area precludes expansion to the south. 

The benefits derived from elimination of the SWRD 
and expansion of the NWRD primarily consist of a 



reduction of the overall visual impact caused by project 
development and a decrease in the amount of surface 
area used for waste rock disposal. The total surface 
area used for waste rock disposal would be reduced to 
approximately 50 acres from the estimated 70 acres 
specified in the proposed action. However, expansion 
of the NWRD would require: 

♦ diversion of approximately 1,200 feet of the 
Yarnell Creek channel, 

♦ mitigation of impacts to Cottonwood Spring and 
wetlands, including site investigation and study, 
permitting and agency consultation and 
construction and remediation efforts, 

♦ construction of approximately 4,000 feet of road 
to replace the existing road and to facilitate 
dump development and operation activities, 

♦ construction, modification and maintenance of 
ancillary support structures such as sediment 
control and diversion structures and storm water 
detention ponds, and 

♦ increased operating costs due to longer haul 
distance and reconstruction of Yarnell Creek 
and wetlands. 

Figure 2-12 shows the expanded NWRD area and 
additional infrastructure associated with Alternative 2. 

2.2.3 ALTERN ATD7E 3 » ELIMINATION OF 
THE NORTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 
AND CONSOLIDATION OF WASTE 
ROCK INTO THE SOUTH WASTE 
ROCK DUMP 

The project proposed by YMC includes the disposal 
of roughly four million tons of waste rock at the 
NWRD and seven million tons of waste rock at the 
SWRD. The proposed north and south dump sites 



-53 



cover surface areas estimated at approximately 22 and 
48 acres, respectively. Alternative 3 would eliminate 
the NWRD and confine waste rock disposal to the 
SWRD. Other elements of the proposed project would 
remain the same under Alternative 3. 



acres. Design specifications for the SWRD support 
infrastructure are not expected to change significantly 
from specifications presented in the proposed action. 
Figure 2-13 shows the expanded SWRD site and 
associated infrastructure. 



The proposed SWRD site is at the head of the Fools 
Gulch valley southwest of the mine pit area. Disposal 
of all of the waste rock at the SWRD site would result 
in the following. 

♦ The modified SWRD dump capacity would be 
raised by approximately 100 feet from an 
estimated elevation of 4,900 feet above MSL to 
an ultimate elevation of 5,000 feet above MSL. 
This would result in slightly greater visual 
effects from State Highway 89. 

♦ Existing mining disturbances would remain. 
Under the proposed action, the NWRD would 
cover existing mill tailings and surface 
disturbance from previous mining activities, 
thereby enhancing the neutralizing capacity of 
the underlying tailing fluids and reducing the 
precipitation-induced moisture that comes into 
contact with the exposed tailings. The NWRD 
would also provide a flat area for parking and 
other facilities. These actions would not occur 
under Alternative 3. 

♦ Increased operating costs due to longer haulage 
distance and increased dump height. 

The primary benefits derived from elimination of 
the NWRD and expansion of the SWRD consist of a 
decrease in the amount of surface area used for waste 
rock disposal. Specifically, the total surface area used 
for waste rock disposal would be reduced from a 
combined 70 acres necessary for both sites (as 
specified in the proposed action) to approximately 48 



2.2.4 COMPARISON OF PROPOSED 
ACTION AND PROJECT 
ALTERNATIVES 

Table 2-8 provides a comparison of the proposed 
action and each of the project alternatives identified 
above, based on: 

♦ area of di sturbance ( acreage used for waste rock 
disposal), 

♦ significant modifications to the proposed action 
including wetlands mitigation and road 
relocation and 

♦ cost percentage relative to the proposed action. 

A detailed discussion of potential impacts within 
each resource category for the proposed action and the 
project alternatives is presented in Chapter 4. 

2.2.5 ALTERNATIVES ELIMINATED FROM 
FURTHER STUDY 

The scoping process identified a number of 
alternatives determined to be infeasible or otherwise 
unreasonable. All alternatives were evaluated based on 
technical and economic feasibility, the magnitude and 
scope of potential environmental impacts, and the 
ability to be permitted under current law. Alternatives 
that did not meet one or more of the above criteria were 
eliminated from detailed analysis. 



2-54 




SEPTIC SYSTEM LEACH HELD 



SCALE IN FEET 



'-—"— — — MINE ST1E STUDY AREA 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 



ELIMINATION OF THE SOUTH DUMP 

CONSOLIDATION OF WASTE ROCK 

INTO NORTH DUMP SITE 




ELIMINATION OF THE NORTH DUMP 

CONSOLIDATION OF WASTE ROCK 

INTO SOUTH DUMP SITE 



The alternatives eliminated from further 
consideration fall into three categories. 

♦ Changes in mining methods 

♦ Changes in waste rock and processed ore 
disposal 

♦ Changes in ore processing techniques 

A discussion of the dismissed alternatives follows 
and a summary of the reasons for elimination is 
presented in Tahle 2-9. 

2.2.5.1 Changes in Mining Methods 

YMC has proposed the use of conventional surface 
open pit mining methods. Use of underground mining 
methods at the site could reduce environmental impacts 
and present an environmentally advantageous option. 
Potential environmental henefits include a lower 
overall tonnage of waste rock produced and elimination 
or reduction in size of the proposed open pit. 



However, underground or a comhination of 
underground and surface mining techniques would not 
be technically or economically feasible. Underground 
mining is typically suited to deep mineral deposits of 
high-grade veins or seams. Ore can be mined from 
underground workings (adits) driven along these 
deposits, leaving most of the host rock in place to 
support the overburden. However, the grade and 
distribution of gold within the remaining Yarnell 
deposit (residual from historic mining) is variable and 
disseminated (i.e., the gold occurs as small dispersed 
particles). 

Historically, about 1 50,000 tons of ore at an average 
grade of 0.29 troy ounces per ton (opt) were mined 
from the Yarnell deposit. In the early 1 940s, low-grade 
wall rock diluted the mining grade to 0.19 opt and 
mining ceased in 1942. YMC would recover an 
average grade of 0.035 opt by surface mining the 
disseminated deposit. There are no known remaining 
high-grade areas. 



TABLE 2-8 
Comparison of Proposed Action and Project Alternatives 



Environmental criteria 


Proposed action 


Alternative 1 


Alternative 2 


Alternative 3 


Acres of disturbance of waste 
rock dumps 


70 


Limited to existing 
uses 


50 


48 


Significant modifications to the 
proposed action 


Not applicable 


Yes 


Yes 


Yes 


Road relocation 


No 


No 


Yes 


No 


Wetlands mitigation necessary 


No 


No 


Yes 1 


No 


Cottonwood Spring buried 


No 


No 


Yes : 


No 


Dump height 


As proposed 


No dump 


+ 100 feet 3 


+ 100 feet 


Cost percentage 4 (relative to 
the proposed action) 


0.0 


Not applicable 


+ 16.41% 


+ 9.19, 



1 See Section 4.3.4 tor discussion of impacts to wetlands. 
: Cottonwood Spring would likely surface at the toe of the waste rock dump. 

' Top of dump would remain at same elevation as proposed action, but dump would bottom about 100 feet lower thereby resulting 
in an overall increased bottom-to-top dump height of 100 feet. 

4 Project alternatives are based on the cost of the proposed action plus the additional expense (shown as a percentage relative to the 
proposed action) required for developing and implementing the alternative. 



2-59 



TABLE 2-9 
Alternatives Eliminated From Further Study 



Category 


Alternative 


Evaluation Criteria 


Technically 
feasible 1 


Economically 
feasible 2 


Environmentally 
advantageous 3 


Changes in mining 
method 


Underground mining methods 


No 


No 


Yes 


Changes in waste rock 
and processed ore 
disposal 


Backfilling waste rock to the mine pit 
during mining 


No 


No 


Yes 


Backfilling waste rock to the mine pit 
after completion of mining 


Yes 


No 


Yes 


Transporting waste rock off-site 


Yes 


No 


No 


Changes in ore 
processing operations 


Valley leach 


Yes 


Yes 


No 


Vat leach 


Yes 


No 


No 


Conventional milling 


Yes 


No 


No 


Evaporative spray sprinklers 


Yes 


No 


No 



1 Allows mining and/or processing to occur according to standard operations procedures based on location, type, extent and 
accessibility of ore. 

2 Allows mining and processing to occur in an environmentally sound manner without an excessive economic burden associated with 
non-standard operating procedures. 

3 Mitigates identified environmental effects without significantly increasing adverse effects to other resources or other areas. 



Methods such as vein mining would not be feasible 
for recovery of the remaining deposit. The areas with 
sufficient grade to support these methods are not 
extensive and recovery of the reserves would be 
limited. Block caving is a method used to recover 
larger disseminated ore bodies. Adits and chutes for 
ore withdrawal are developed below the block to be 
caved. Support is removed from the block, causing it 
to cave; the waste material then caves and subsides as 
the ore is removed. If this method was used at 
Yarnell. control of ore near the hanging wall would be 
difficult. Mining would not be economical using block 
caving or any other underground mining method for the 
Yarnell deposit. 

In addition, underground mining would reduce but 
not eliminate surface disposal of waste rock or 
processed ore, due to swelling and displacement (as 
much as 30 percent) of unconsolidated and broken 
rock. Underground extraction of gold ore is logistically 
unfeasible and uneconomical. Consequently, any 



potential alternatives involving underground mining 
have been eliminated from further consideration in this 
EIS. 

2.2.5.2 Changes in Waste Rock and Processed Ore 
Disposal 

YMC proposes two sites for disposal of an 
estimated 1 1 million tons of overburden waste rock and 
one site for the processing and disposal of 
approximately seven million tons of ore material. The 
three proposed locations (the leach pad and the NWRD 
and SWRD) were selected by YMC as the best ore 
processing and waste rock disposal sites from an 
operational perspective. 

Backfilling Waste Rock to the Mine Pit. YMC 

proposes to partially backfill waste rock to the mine pit 
at the conclusion of mining. Additional backfilling of 
waste rock to the proposed open pit could reduce 
environmental impacts and present environmental 



2-60 



benefits. Potential environmental benefits include a 
reduction in the size of the waste rock dumps, lessened 
visual impacts associated with a reduction in surface 
waste rock disposal and elimination or reduction in the 
size of the proposed open pit. However, the volume of 
waste rock and processed ore increases as much as 30 
percent due to swelling. Consequently, complete 
backfilling of the pit would not eliminate the impact of 
aboveground ore and waste rock disposal. 

Disadvantages associated with backfilling waste 
rock and processed ore include the following. 



In any case, the heap leach and waste rock piles 
would still have to be constructed (as they are with 
permanent surface disposal ) and mined materials could 
not be backfilled to the pit at least until the completion 
of mining activities. It may be technically feasible to 
backfill waste rock upon completion of mining 
activities. However, the heap leach materials cannot be 
backfilled until the heap has been completely 
detoxified. Thus, at a minimum, there would still be 
surface disposal of heap material and waste rock during 
mining activities, and heap leach material would remain 
on surface during the closure period. 



♦ Pit backfilling concurrent with mining or upon 
the completion of mining activities would result 
in extremely high costs, making the project 
economically infeasible. 

♦ Pit backfilling during mining would make the 
project technically infeasible for the following 
reasons. 

► Mineralization in the proposed project area 
continues with depth, and modifications to 
the mining schedule could occur if mine 
reserves and/or the price of gold were to 
increase. The schedule for mining of 
selected locations within the pit can vary, 
dependent upon changes in mine reserves, 
exploration activities and fluctuations in the 
price of gold. Backfilling the pit could 
reduce or eliminate future flexibility to 
modify mining schedules, techniques and/or 
mining locations within the proposed pit 
design. 

► Mining would occur in a single pit and 
backfilling concurrent with operations is not 
feasible, due to the areal extent of the ore 
body and size limitations of the pit. 



Therefore, disposal alternatives including complete 
backfilling of waste rock and processed ore to the mine 
pit during and/or upon completion of planned mining 
operations were considered and rejected for full 
analysis within this EIS. 

Transportation of Waste Rock to an Alternative 
Off-Site Location. During the site selection process 
for waste rock, YMC excluded areas further than two 
miles from the mine site from consideration due to 
excessive haul distances and public safety. Longer 
haul distances would result in higher fuel consumption, 
higher consumptive use of water for dust suppression 
on roads and higher maintenance costs for haul trucks. 

Several potential waste rock disposal sites were 
identified within a two-mile radius of the mine. 
However, these sites were eliminated by YMC for the 
following reasons. 

♦ Sites that would require transporting ore or 
waste rock through the communities of Yarnell 
and Glen Ilah were eliminated due to the 
increase in traffic and the corresponding noise. 



2-61 



dust and other disturbances generated by the 
haul trucks. 

♦ Sites that would require hauling ore or waste 
rock on State Highway 89, which is designed for 
automobile and commercial truck traffic, are not 
suitable for the large haul trucks (i.e., 60-ton 
dump trucks) required for project operations. 
The haul trucks would constitute a traffic hazard 
and have difficulty negotiating the steep grade 
of the highway. 

♦ Operations in nearby areas of steep topography 
(with extended slopes of 3:1 or 33 percent) are 
hazardous and would present major logistical 
problems in engineering and reclamation. The 
expense associated with this approach renders 
the project uneconomical and infeasible for 
reclamation purposes. 

♦ Areas along the bottom of major washes (lower 
Yarnell Creek, Antelope Creek and Fools 
Gulch) would require construction of new haul 
roads and impact surface water runoff into the 
headwaters of these creeks during storm events. 
This option likely could not be permitted by 
regulatory agencies. 

♦ Development of waste rock dumps on private 
surface lands is not an option due to the lack of 
nearby available land suitable for siting waste 
rock dump facilities and the cost associated with 
land lease or purchase expenditures. 

Therefore, transportation of waste rock to off-site 
locations would be economically infeasible and result 
in a greater magnitude of environmental impacts. This 
alternative has been eliminated from further 
consideration. 



2.2.5.3 Changes in Ore Processing Operations 

Alternatives for gold recovery and extraction were 
considered. However, YMC's metallurgical testing of 
samples taken from the Yarnell deposit indicated that 
the oxide ores from the deposit are amenable to heap 
leaching. Other extraction and recovery systems are not 
technically, economically or environmentally feasible 
as summarized below. 

Valley Leach. A valley leach system contains leach 
solutions within the heap rather than in an exterior 
pond. The leach pad consists of a lined basin inside a 
perimeter or valley embankment. The liner and 
monitoring system for a valley leach system are 
typically more extensive than for a conventional leach 
pad because solutions are contained within the heap. 
This is due to the potential for leakage from the zone of 
saturation or head above the liner. 

Valley leach systems are often used at sites where 
there is insufficient space for a conventional leach pad 
and exterior ponds. The proposed Yarnell Project area 
has sufficient space to accommodate a conventional 
leach pad and pond system. This allows for the design 
of a system with features that minimize the potential for 
leakage from the buildup of solution from the zone of 
saturation above the liner. Because of this 
environmental disadvantage, the valley leach 
alternative was eliminated from further consideration. 

Vat Leach. Vat leaching is similar to heap 
leaching, but it is conducted in large, shallow tanks. 
When ore in the vat has been leached, it is rinsed and 
then disposed of, and the vat is reloaded. It is an 
appropriate technique to use with ores having rapid 
gold dissolution rates and/or for sites which would not 
accommodate leach pads. The amount of leached ore 



2-62 



residue produced is the same as in heap leaching. 
However, douhle handling of the material is required 
with associated increases in power consumption. This 
alternative does not present environmental or economic 
advantages over the proposed method and has heen 
eliminated from further consideration. 

Conventional Mill Flotation. Conventional milling 
generally consists of reducing the ore to fine grain or 
sand size particles that liberate minute gold particles. 
The finely ground particles are mixed in a slurry with 
water and chemical reagents in large tanks. Surfactant 
reagents are used to form a froth to which the gold 
and/or gold-bearing sulfide particles attach and gold is 
then extracted from the froth. This method is generally 
suited for some ores that contain appreciable quantities 
of sulfide minerals. The Yarnell ore is primarily made 
up of oxide minerals and is not well suited for this type 
of extraction process. In addition, the conventional 
milling process requires considerably greater energy 
than the heap leach process and the process produces 
wet tailings that would require appropriate tailings 
containment facilities. Therefore, conventional milling 
has no environmental or economic advantage over the 
proposed heap leach process and is not suitable for the 
Yarnell Project. 

Use of Evaporative Spray (Impact) Sprinklers for 
Sodium Cyanide Solution Application. Evaporative 
spray sprinklers can function as an effective and 
efficient method for applying sodium cyanide solution 
to leach pads. The solution is distributed through an 
array of pipes on top of the heap and is applied as a 
spray through attached sprinkler heads. Evaporative 
spray sprinklers are generally used in areas with 
sufficient water supplies. The proposed Yarnell 
Project is in an arid area with limited water resources, 
where use of this method would result in excessive 



evaporation and corresponding loss of water. To 
conserve water, the proposed action specifies the 
application of cyanide solution via drip emitters, 
similar to drip irrigation systems used in agriculture. 

In addition, the Yarnell MPO proposes that the ore 
be placed on a prepared pad by end dumping from a 
40-ton mine haul truck. The ore would then be pushed 
upward by dozer into a succession of lifts 
approximately 20 feet high. Drip emitters would then 
be evenly placed on each lift. When using this 
construction technique, the drip emitter would ensure 
an even and uniform distribution of cyanide solution 
throughout the heap. Generally, evaporative spray 
sprinklers are used on projects that place ore through 
the use of conveyors and pivoting radial stackers. The 
stacker system produces a heap that is steeper and less 
compacted than a bench-and-lift style design. Due to 
the difference in compaction and heap configuration, 
application of spray systems on a bench- and-lift design 
would most likely result in solution pooling and 
inefficient percolation rates. In addition, stacker 
systems are generally used on mining projects of much 
larger magnitude than the proposed Yarnell Project. 
This alternative would not be economically feasible or 
have environmental advantages and has been 
eliminated from further consideration. 

2.3 SUMMARY COMPARISON OF 

THE PROPOSED ACTION AND 

ALTERNATIVES 

Table 2-10 summarizes and compares the 
environmental impacts among the proposed action and 
alternatives considered in detail in this EIS. Detailed 
descriptions of impacts, mitigation measures and 
residual effects are contained in Chapters 4, 5 and 6. 



2-63 



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• Topography of upper 
Yarnell Creek would not 
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• SWRD at the head of 
Fools Gulch would 
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height 

• An additional 20 acres of 
steep slopes would be 
created 


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soil would be disturbed 

• Steep slopes would 
occupy about 20 
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• Decrease in salvageable 
topsoil by 24,000 cubic 
yards compared to 
proposed action 


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• Loss of hydric soils 
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• Exploration may continue 

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• Planned recovery of about 1 80,000 ounces 
of gold, depleting the mineral resource 

• No other identifiable geological changes or 
risks 


• Disturbance of soil characteristics in the 
201 -acre disturbed area 

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not be disturbed 

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sites and isolated 
occurrences destroyed 
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action, but resources have 
been fully documented 
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information would be 
gained 

• Relocation of the eligible 
Mina-Genung Road 
would affect its integrity 
of place (one of the 
qualities making it 
eligible), a significant 
impact to this site 


Higher noise levels at one 
receptor location compared 
to the proposed action 


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would continue 

• Alteration or destruction 
of sites could result from 
mining exploration and 
actions of recreationalists 


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• Historic Biedler Mine and Edgar Shaft 
would he directly impacted, hut these 
resources have been fully documented 

• Yarnell Overlook, a historic Native 
American site, would not be directly 
impacted but adverse effects could occur 
from artifact collection or site disturbance 

• Mina-Genung Road is NRHP-eligible, but 
would not he impacted (outside disturbance 
area) 

• Historic Yarnell Mine site would be 
affected, but has poor integrity and 
identified cultural resources are 
documented 


• Major increase in noise levels in areas 
adjacent to mine site 

• Increase at some receptors in Glen Ilah 
could exceed EPA's criteria for human 
health and welfare 


Ground motion would not occur at a level to 
cause damage to the nearest residences and 
other structures 


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2.4 AGENCY PREFERRED 
ALTERNATIVE 

This draft EIS presents descriptions and analyses of 
four alternatives, including YMC's proposed action. 
The BLM will not reach a final decision to select a 
specific agency-preferred alternative at this early stage 
of analysis. Section 1502. 14(e)of the CEQ regulations 
requires that the agency identify its preferred 
alternative in the final EIS. However, Department of 
the Interior policy (516 DM 4.10A) requires the 
identification of a preferred alternative in the draft EIS. 
unless another law prohibits such an expression. This 
requirement applies whether a project is initiated by the 
agency or the agency is responding to a proposal from 
an external entity. 

The following considerations relate to defining an 
agency-preferred alternative in this draft EIS. In the 



case of a proposed mining plan, the no action 
alternative can be defined as the preferred alternative 
only in the event of a determination that the project 
would cause undue or unnecessary degradation of 
surface resources on public land. To date, the BLM 
has made no formal determination. Among the other 
three alternatives, the proposed action is the BLM's 
preliminary identification of an agency-preferred 
alternative. 

In the final EIS, the BLM may modify the 
alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS, develop 
additional alternatives if justified by public comments 
or new information, change the identification of its 
preferred alternative or maintain the preliminary 
identification. After the publication of the final EIS, 
the BLM must a issue a record of decision 
documenting the decision made and the rationale for 
the decision. 



2-77 



CHAPTER 3 

AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



This chapter descrihes the existing condition of the 
area that would be affected by the proposed Yarnell 
Project. This information is presented primarily to 
assist the reviewers in understanding the environmental 
consequences of the proposed action and selected 
alternatives as presented in Chapter 4. Consequences of 
the Proposed Action and Alternatives . Descriptions of 
resources focus on specific issues or topics that would 
potentially be affected by mining and ore processing 
and water supply activities. 

The current physical, biological, economic and 
social attributes and conditions of the ecosystem in and 
surrounding the proposed project area have been 
described by resource specialists based on intensive 
ground surveys of the area and laboratory evaluations. 

The chapter is organized by elements of the human 
and physical environment including: 

♦ physiography, topography, geology and soils, 

♦ water resources, 

♦ biological resources (vegetation and wildlife), 

♦ air resources, 

♦ land use, 

♦ visual resources, 

♦ cultural resources, 

♦ transportation, 

♦ noise and 

♦ socioeconomic conditions. 

These elements relate directly to the issue categories 
identified in Section 1.5. Relevant issues such as 
cyanide management and reclamation are addressed as 



they relate to specific elements of the human 
environment (e.g., wildlife). Elements of the human 
environment which do not exist in the project vicinity 
are not discussed in this EIS. These include: 

♦ Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
designated by the BLM, 

♦ Eligible or Congressionally Designated Wild 
and Scenic Rivers, 

♦ Congressionally Designated Wilderness Areas 
and 

♦ Prime Farmlands 

Whenever possible, the basic dynamics of the 
natural environment are described to establish the 
interrelationships of the resources and to establish a 
basis for analyzing the impacts that would result from 
the proposed activities. 

For certain resources, such as soils, vegetation and 
cultural resources, the environmental study area was 
considered to be essentially the area of potential direct 
disturbance. However, the study area for these 
disciplines was increased to approximately 400 acres to 
include the immediate vicinity of the proposed mine 
site and an additional 1 8.5 acres along the proposed 
water supply pipeline corridor to allow for refinements 
in the proposed surface disturbance as the MPO was 
being completed. For other resources, such as wildlife, 
visual resources and socioeconomics, a regional 
environmental study area was used to encompass the 
potential off-site aspects of issues related to these 
resource categories. The environmental study area for 
each resource encompasses the area within which most 



3-1 



potential direct and indirect effects to a specific 
resource would be expected to occur. 

For clarification purposes, the following definitions 
apply throughout this chapter. 

♦ Mine site study area (MSA): the specific area 
(approximately 400 acres) within which all 
surface disturbance and development activities 
would occur, either for the proposed action or 
selected alternatives (see Figure 3-1). 

♦ Water resources study area (WRSA): the 
environmental study area established for water 
sources and use areas within a reasonable 
distance from the mine site: 

► north and west of the mine site to include the 
towns of Yarnell and Glen Ilah, 

► about four miles east of the mine site to 
include Antelope Creek and several 
perennial springs and 

► about three and one-half miles south of the 
mine site to include the town of Stanton and 
the Parker Dairy. 

Environmental studies of the site have been 
completed by many technical specialists for a number 
of resources and conditions. Because many of the 
studies used in the preparation of the EIS are lengthy 
and technical in nature, the results are summarized for 
disclosure within this EIS. Documents incorporated by 
reference are available for public review at the BLM's 
Phoenix Field Office. Selected studies also are 
available for review at the Yarnell Public Library. 



3.1 PHYSIOGRAPHY, 
TOPOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY, SOILS 

3.1.1 PROJECT LOCATION AND 
PHYSIOGRAPHY 

The proposed Yarnell Project is on the southern 
slope of the Weaver Mountains of Yavapai County, 
Arizona, along the southern boundary of the Transition 
Zone (Pierce 1 985). This physiographic province is so 
named because it is between the Colorado Plateau and 
the Basin and Range physiographic provinces. The 
Transition Zone extends about 350 miles across the 
central part of Arizona and averages about 50 miles in 
width. It has been informally termed the central 
mountain region because of its topographic diversity 
which includes steep canyons and high mountain peaks. 



3.1.2 



TOPOGRAPHY 



The topography of the area is characterized by the 
steep upper slopes of the Weaver Mountains, with 
steep hills and relatively flat saddles near drainage 
divides. 

The elevations range from about 3,240 feet above 
mean sea level (MSL) at the south end of the water 
supply corridor to 5,100 feet MSL in the southernmost 
part of the MSA to about 6,000 feet MSL in the 
northeast. The MSA is on the south slope of the 
Weaver Mountains and straddles the proximal end of a 
major ridge running south of the main mountain range. 
Areas proposed for water supply pipeline corridors 
extend to well fields in mountainous terrain to the east 
and to the relatively flat plain below to the west and 
south of the mountains. Local topography includes a 
steep knoll that rises 300 feet above the surrounding 



3-2 



terrain to an elevation of 6,000 feet. This conical hill, 
the site of past mining activity, occupies about one-half 
of the MSA and has steep slopes to the north and east, 
and a gentler topography to the west and south. The 
slopes range from the relatively gentle saddle at the 
south end of the MSA to the 66-percent slopes draining 
eastward into Yarnell Creek. The slopes draining to 
Yarnell Creek are typically 40 to 60 percent while the 
slopes draining into Fools Gulch at the western end of 
the area are shallower, ranging from approximately 20 
to 40 percent. The south half of the MSA is 
characterized by numerous small, knobby outcrops of 
granite amid a relatively rolling topography. 

Yarnell Creek, an ephemeral (only flows part of the 
year, such as during major precipitation events) 
tributary to Antelope Creek, drains southeast across the 
MSA. north of the conical hill. North of Yarnell 
Creek, the lower south-facing slopes of Antelope Peak 
extend into the MSA. The upper reaches of Fools 
Gulch and a tributary to Fools Gulch each originate on 
the western portion of the MSA and flow westward. 
Cottonwood Canyon Creek is a tributary to Fools 
Gulch and flows south from the MSA. Numerous dry, . 
sand washes flow southward from the Weaver 
Mountains into and across the flat plains. 



relief along sandy, often braided, channels. Proceeding 
north, the corridor follows Fools Gulch, crosses 
braided channels and rises about 600 feet in elevation 
to cross a west-extending slope of the Weaver 
Mountains. North from this point, the corridor is 
within a dry stream channel for about 1,000 feet, 
follows an old dirt road east for about 2.000 feet, 
proceeds further east along the steep slopes of the 
Weaver Mountains, re-crosses Cottonwood Canyon 
Creek, proceeds east paralleling Fools Gulch, crosses 
a south-flowing tributary to Fools Gulch and, finally, 
crosses the western MSA boundary. 



3.1.3 



GEOLOGY 



3. 1.3. 1 Regional Geologic Setting 

The geologic structure of the Transition Zone is 
complex and characterized by intense deformation, as 
is evident by the foliated and deformed rock outcrops. 
These rocks expose some of Arizona's oldest geologic 
history. A regional geologic map inclusive of the area 
within the boundary of the WRSA is presented in 
Figure 3-2. A geologic cross section running roughly 
perpendicular to the overall structure of the WRSA and 
inclusive of the MSA is presented in Figure 3-3. 



The pipelines proposed for water supply, as shown 
previously in Figure 2-9, include an eastern corridor 
and a western corridor. The east pipeline corridor rises 
760 feet in elevation from a low of 4,040 feet along 
Yarnell Creek to a high of 4.800 at the eastern MSA 
boundary. The west pipeline corridor rises 1 ,360 feet 
in elevation from a low of 3.240 feet at the south well 
field to a high of 4.600 feet at the western side of the 
MSA boundary. The west pipeline corridor, from the 
south well field to the west well field, crosses five dry 
washes in a landscape with only minor topographic 



Most of the southern and western portions of the 
WRSA are underlain by Precambrian Age (over 1.400 
million years old), intrusive igneous rocks that range in 
composition from granite to granodiorite. These rocks 
are subdivided into the Yarnell granodiorite (Ygd). the 
granodiorite of Wilhoit (Xgdw), the granite of 
Antelope Creek (Xga). undifferentiated granitic rocks 
(Xgu) and the granite of Rich Hill (Xgrh). Less than a 
mile from the MSA. the igneous granitic rocks intrude 
into even older, metamorphosed sedimentary rocks 



3-5 



(Xpel and Xms) and metavolcanic rocks (Xmv) of the 
Bradshaw Mountains Group. 



southeast. Although moderate to intense fracturing is 
present, fractures are usually very small to closed. 



There is a gap in the geologic record between the 
Precambrian and the Tertiary Ages. In the time period 
from about 25 to 45 million years before the present, 
lava flows and deposits of sediment were laid on top of 
the Precambrian rocks. These much younger, Tertiary 
Age volcanic rocks (Tb), interbedded volcanic and 
sedimentary rocks (TVS) and sedimentary rocks (Tls 
and Ts) are shallow dipping and undeformed. They 
cap the mountains in the northeastern quarter of the 
WRSA. The volcanic rocks are predominantly basaltic 
and andesitic flows with localized rhyolite flows and 
tuffs. The sedimentary rocks are composed of fine- 
grained lake sediments and coarser fluvial sediments 
and channel gravels. 

Recent (less than one million years old) 
unconsolidated to semi-consolidated alluvial sediments 
ranging in age from Pleistocene to Holocene were 
deposited in the southwestern corner of the WRSA. 
Recent alluvial sediments are also found as minor, 
discontinuous lenses along the stream valleys that drain 
the WRSA. The alluvial sediments are composed of 
poorly-sorted mixtures of sand and gravel within a clay 
matrix. Cobble-size material is common in the 
alluvium. The recent sediments thicken southward 
from a featheredge along the mountain front to 
approximately 1,000 feet at the southern edge of the 
WRSA. 

3.1.3.2 Geologic Structure and Seismicity 

Structural features include probable faults and 
fracture zones. Four distinct fracture trends have been 
identified. The oldest trend runs northwest to 



The Yarnell Fault is related to one of the major 
northeast-trending lineaments. The fault can be traced 
over two miles in the vicinity of the proposed mine site 
and dips approximately 30 to 50 degrees to the 
northwest as shown in Figure 3-3. 

A band of intense deformation corresponds closely 
to the metasedimentary and metavolcanic rock 
outcrops. This band is characterized by intense sub- 
vertical, northeast-striking mylonite foliation, tight 
folds and northeast-plunging lineations among other 
shear zone features. The axis of Antelope Creek 
transects much of the deformed zone. 

The proposed project is in an area of low seismicity, 
as shown from generalized maps in ICBO ( 1991 ), U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers (1982) and Algermissen et 
al. (1982). From information in Euge et al. (1992), the 
site is within the Arizona Mountain Zone area. 
Recorded seismic activity in the area has been limited 
to events along the Verde Fault Zone and an isolated 
event (1976) in the Prescott area. The maximum 
acceleration from seismic activity that would be 
expected to recur every 50 years and 250 years is 0.05g 
and 0. 1 1 g, respectively (g is the acceleration of gravity) 
(Algermissen et al. 1982). 

3.1.3.3 Geology and Mineralization of the Mine 
Site Study Area 

The Yarnell ore deposit is contained in the 
Precambrian Age, intrusive igneous rock, informally 
termed the Yarnell Granite by Anderson (1989) and 
more formally designated the Granodiorite at Yarnell 
by DeWitt (1989). Gold mineralization in the orebody 



3-6 




EXPLANATION 



wow *S SOUD UMt ro« 



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SII FIOURC 3-3 



FIGURE 3-2 

REGIONAL GEOLOGY 



T&TnJ 




EXPLANATION 



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I W»| Oranedloith) of » 

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| Xgrh| Oranmo of Won 



»E noun! 3-3 



FIGURE 3-2 

REGIONAL GEOLOGY 



is structurally controlled by the Yarnell Fault and 
confined to sheared rocks that have been 
hydrothermally altered. Faulting is believed to have 
occurred concurrently with gold mineralization about 
69 million years ago (Page et al. 1994). 

The mineralized portion of the fault zone is 
characterized by intensely sheared and hydrothermally 
altered gouge, mylonite, micro-breccia and quartz 
veining ranging in thickness from three to more than 
seven feet. In order of increasing alteration, these 
zones are propylitic, sericitic and potassic. The 
primary alteration mineral in all three zones is sericite. 
The highest grade gold mineralization occurs in the 
sericite-altered fault zone, where the primary igneous 
minerals have been altered to clayey minerals through 
the action of hydrothermal solutions. Gold is 
commonly associated with quartz veins in the altered 
zone. There are several generations of quartz veining, 
some of which contain iron-oxide (hematite) and iron- 
sulfide (pyrite). Lower grade gold mineralization is 
contained in a 150-foot-thick zone above the high- 
grade zone and is locally present in the footwall of the 
Yarnell fault. 

The surrounding granodiorite is of uniform 
composition, containing microcline as the dominant 
feldspar mineral and biotite as the only mafic mineral. 
Total combined iron-oxide and iron-sulfide are 
generally low and only locally exceed four to five 
percent of the rock mass beyond the mineralized 
portion of the Yarnell Fault. Dikes and sills are 
associated with the orebody and represent intrusions of 
magma into the Yarnell Granodiorite. Many of the 
fractures and thin dikes in the proposed mine site area 
reflect the trend of the Yarnell Fault. 



Monitoring well YMC-04 intercepts the mineralized 
area of the fault zone (Figure 3-3). The mineralization 
of the rock surrounding the YMC-04 well is reflected 
in a water chemistry signature that differs from the 
water chemistry and water quality found in other wells 
within the WRSA (a point that will be discussed in 
detail in the groundwater quality section of this 
chapter). 



3.1.4 



SOILS 



Soil information for the proposed project is based 
on a detailed soil inventory by Walsh (1996). The 
inventory was a refinement of the USDA Soil 
Conservation Service (SCS) Order III soil survey for 
the western part of Yavapai County (USDA-SCS 
1 976). Areas to be potentially affected by mining were 
mapped at an Order I level and all other areas were 
mapped at an Order III level. Soils were mapped at a 
scale of one inch equals 2,000 feet, and soil 
descriptions were conducted in accordance with USDA 
standards (USDA, 1981 and 1983). Nine typical soil 
profiles within the MSA were described and sampled 
for laboratory analysis. Soil series, map unit 
descriptions and soil interpretation records for series 
and families potentially present in the permit area were 
obtained from the SCS to assist with soil identification, 
mapping and interpretation. 

Soil information for the pipeline corridors is based 
on the Soil Inventory of the Water Pipeline Corridor 
Report (WER, 1996). This report was based on the 
Order III soil survey of the Western Part of Yavapai 
County, Arizona (USDA-SCS, 1976). No field 
verification was conducted along the pipeline corridors. 
In a few locations bordering the MSA, the soil map 
units were refined to correlate with the mapping units 
of the detailed MSA soil inventory. 



3-11 



The soils within the MSA originated from the 
weathering of the existing bedrock and rock 
formations, which are predominantly coarse-grained 
granites and granodiorites. Angular coarse-grained 
fragments of disintegrated granite underlie the soil 
substratum in most areas. The southern half of the 
MSA consists mostly of very shallow and shallow soils 
with abundant surface boulders. The northern half of 
the MSA has very shallow to moderately deep soils and 
few surface boulders. All soils at the MSA exhibit a 
low erosion potential because they contain a large 
proportion of rock fragments greater than two 
millimeters in diameter. 

Soils along the northern segment of the pipeline 
corridor are predominantly shallow or very shallow and 
formed in place from granite and granodiorites. These 
soils are commonly associated with abundant surface 
boulders and rock outcrops. Soils along the southern 
segment of the pipeline corridor are generally deep and 
formed from mixed alluvium weathered from granite 
and basic igneous rocks or formed in place from basalt 
flows. 

An area of existing mill tailings is in the upper 
portion of Yarnell Creek in the area of the proposed 
NWRD. These tailings are comprised of an upper and 
lower terrace and an area of the upper terrace covered 
with an existing crushed ore pile that was leached, and 
that is underlain by a thin geomembrane. 

3.1.4.1 Soil Types 

Soils within the MSA and along the pipeline 
corridors vary in age, depth and development. Very 
shallow and shallow soils are found on hills and rocky 
knobs and are the dominant soils in the MSA and along 
the northern segment of the pipeline corridors. On the 



southern half of the MSA, these soils are associated 
with abundant surface boulders and rock outcrops. 
These shallow soils are relatively young, do not possess 
distinct horizons and have a sandy texture and a near- 
neutral pH. 

Older, moderately deep soils with strong profile 
development are found on slopes throughout the MSA, 
but are most common on the northern half. They also 
occur in wider drainageways, but are eroded. The 
moderately deep soils have a very gravelly sandy loam 
topsoil, a very gravelly, sandy clay loam subsoil and a 
pH range from 5.5 to 8.0. Soils within the MSA are 
both shallow and moderately deep, generally well- 
drained, deficient in nitrogen, but sufficient in 
phosphorus and potassium for natural vegetation on 
dryland sites. Deep, well-drained soils on alluvial fans 
and basalt flows occur along the southern segment of 
the western pipeline corridor. These soils commonly 
have a gravelly, coarse-loamy surface layer and a 
clayey or coarse-loamy subsoil that overlies a layer of 
lime accumulation. 

Classifications of the soils occurring both within the 
MSA and along the pipeline corridors are presented in 
Table 3-1. The distribution of soils within the MSA 
and along pipeline corridors is shown in Figure 3-4 and 
Figure 3-5. 

Characteristics of the MSA soil types include the 
following. 

♦ Cellar soils (taxadunct). Cellar soils are 
shallow or very shallow, well-drained, formed 
over granite and occur on slopes ranging from 
four to 70 percent. Within the MSA, these soils 
have two to seven inches of very gravelly sandy 
loam or gravelly sandy loam topsoil overlying 



3-12 



MINE SITE 
STUDY AREA 




C.llor (C.C, C.D 
C.| ; C^dBC.CBD. 



□ 


- Goddot (GdC, GdD, 
GdE, Gdf, GBC, GBD, 
GBE. GEC. GEO) 


■ 


- Cord.. (CoC) 


■ 


- Rock Land (RIC) 




- Dl.turb.d Land (DL) 


□ 


- Alluvium (Al) 

- Alluvium mlx.d with 
Mill Tailing. (A/T) 

- Mill Tolling! (T) 


— — 


- Araa of Rec.nl Flro 


■ IIIMM* 


- D.lln.ot.d W.lland 


.,„ 


- Wat.r. of th. U.S. 




i'AVELLi SANDr LOAM, 0-8% SLOPES 
GAPI' EP7ILLE COBBLr SAND i LOAM. 20-60". SLOPES 
BARKERVILLE ExTREMELr ROD ■ SANDi LOAM. 20-60% SLOPES 
CAVE - CONTINENTAL CPAVELLt SANDl LOAM. 2-30% SLOPES 
CELLAR SOILS. 20-60% SLOPES 

CONTINENTAL - WHITLC'CK GPAVELL i SAND i LOAM, 2-15" SLOPE: 
CONTINENTAL SOILS. 3-30% SLOPES 
GADDES ,'ERf GRAVELLY SAND f LOAM. 3-25". SLOPES 



^"V DELINE TED WETLANDS 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

VAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA 

FIGURE 3-5 

WATER SUPPLY AND 

PIPELINE CORRIDORS 

SOIL TYPES MAP 



TABLE 3-1 
Classification of the Soils 



Soil Name 


Classification 


Mine Site 

Cellar (taxadunct) 

Cordes 

Gaddes 


Loamy-skeletal, mixed, non-acidic, mesic, Lithic Torriorthents 
Coarse-loamy, mixed, non-acidic, mesic. Cumulic Haplustolls 
Loamy-skeletal, mixed, non-acidic, mesic. Ustollic Haplargids 


Pipeline Corridor 

Anthony 

Barkerville 

Cave 

Cellar 

Continental 

Gaddes 

Moano 

Rimrock 

Venezia 

Whitlock 


Coarse-loamy, mixed (calcareous), thermic, Typic Torrifluvents 
Loamy, mixed, mesic, shallow. Udorthentic Haplustolls 
Loamy, mixed, thermic, shallow. Typic Paleorthids 
Loamy-skeletal, mixed, non-acidic, thermic, Lithic Torriorthents 
Fine, mixed, thermic. Typic Haplargids 
Fine-loamy, mixed, mesic, Ustollic Haplargids 
Loamy, mixed, non-acidic, mesic. Lithic Torriorthents 
Fine, montmorillonitic, thermic, Typic Chromusterts 
Loamy, mixed, mesic. Lithic Haplustolls 
Coarse-loamy, mixed, thermic. Tvpic Calciorthids 



zero to 13 inches of very gravelly sand loam. 
Depth to hard bedrock is between three and 1 6 
inches. These soils are the dominant soils of the 
site. Eight map units of Cellar soils occur on the 
site and are categorized by slope and the amount 
of surface boulders. 

♦ Cordes. Cordes soils are deep, well-drained, 
formed from alluvium and weathered granite 
and found on slopes ranging from four to 10 
percent. Within the proposed project area, these 
soils have four to seven inches of loam or sandy 
loam topsoil overlying about 1 6 inches of sandy 
loam. The Cordes soil map unit is of very 
limited extent occurring on the site in 
drainageways and on gently rolling areas. 

♦ Gaddes. Gaddes soils are moderately deep, 
well-drained, formed from granite and occur on 
four to 70 percent slopes. Within the MSA, 
these soils have three to five inches of very 
gravelly sandy loam or gravelly loam topsoil 
overlying five to 25 inches of gravelly clay 
loam. Underlying this material is four to 24 



inches of gravelly sandy loam. Granite bedrock 
is between 20 and 40 inches. These soils cover 
about one-quarter of the site. Nine map units of 
Gaddes soils occur at the site and are 
categorized by slope, amount of surface 
boulders and degree of erosion. 
♦ Miscellaneous Map Units. Five additional 
miscellaneous map units were recognized, 
including disturbed land, mill tailings, alluvium, 
alluvium mixed with mill tailings and rock land 
(rock outcrops). 

Soils occurring along the pipeline corridors can be 
grouped as alluvial fan soils, basalt flow soils and hill 
soils. The alluvial fan soils include Anthony. Cave, 
Continental and Whitlock. These soils are well- 
drained, generally deep, commonly have lime 
accumulation in the subsoil and occur on alluvial fans 
with zero to 30 percent slopes. These soils are formed 
from mixed alluvium weathered from granite and basic 
ieneous rocks. 



3-17 



Rimrock is the only soil belonging to the basalt flow 
soils. It is well-drained, moderately deep, formed in 
place on basalt flows with one to eight percent slopes 
and has a clayey texture. Hill soils include Barkerville, 
Cellar, Gaddes, Moano and Venezia. Also included 
with this group is rock land, which consists of rock 
outcrops and very shallow soils. The hill soils are very 
shallow to moderately deep, but are generally very 
shallow or shallow. They are well-drained, formed in 
place predominantly from granite and occur on hills 
with three to 60 percent slopes. 



3.1.4.2 Soil Mapping Units 

Soil mapping units were defined based on the above 
soil types in combination with slope, presence of 
surface boulders and degree of erosion. A total of 23 
mapping units, five of which are miscellaneous map 
units, were delineated within the MSA (Table 3-2) and 
12 map units were delineated along the pipeline 
corridors (Table 3-3). 



TABLE 3-2 
Soil and Miscellaneous Map Units of 
the Proposed Mine Site Study Area 



Soil Map Unit Code 


Soil Map Unit Name 


CeC 
CeD 
CeE 
CeF 

CBC 
CBD 
CBE 
CBF 


Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, four to 15 percent slopes 
Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 
Cellar very gravelly sandy loam. 25 to 45 percent slopes 
Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, 45 to 70 percent slopes 

Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, four to 15 percent slopes 
Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes, bouldery surface 
Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, 25 to 45 percent slopes, bouldery surface 
Cellar very gravelly sandy loam, 45 to 70 percent slopes, bouldery surface 


CoC 


Cordes sandy loam, four to 1 percent slopes 


GdC 
GdD 
GdE 
GdF 


Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, four to 15 percent slopes 
Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 
Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, 25 to 45 percent slopes 
Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam. 45 to 70 percent slopes 


GBC 
GBD 
GBE 

GEC 
GED 


Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, four to 15 percent slopes, bouldery surface 
Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes, bouldery surface 
Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam. 25 to 45 percent slopes, bouldery surface 

Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, four to 15 percent slopes, severely eroded 
Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes, severely eroded 


Soil Map Unit Code 


Miscellaneous Map Unit Name 


Al 

AT 

DL 
RIC 

T 


Alluvium, five to 60 percent slopes 

Alluvium mixed with mill tailings, five to 60 percent slopes 

Disturbed land 

Rock Land - Cellar Complex, four to 70 percent slopes 

Mill tailincs 



3-18 



TABLE 3-3 

Soil Map Units Along 

the Water Supply Pipeline Corridor 



Map Unit Code 


Soil Map Unit Name 


ApB 


Anthony gravelly sandy loam, zero to eight percent slopes 


BmF 
BoF 


Barkerville cohbly sandy loam, 20 to 60% slopes 
Barkerville extremely rocky sandy loam, 20 to 60% slopes 


CID 


Cave - Continental gravelly sandy loams, two to 30% slopes 


CrF 


Cellar soils. 20 to 60% slopes 


CuC 
CwD 


Continental - Whitlock gravelly sandy loams, two to 15% slopes 
Continental soils, three to 30% slopes 


GdD 


Gaddes very gravelly sandy loam, three to 25% slopes 


MkF 


Moano very rocky loam. 15 to 60% slopes 


RkB 


Rimrock cobbly clay, zero to eight percent slopes 


Rr 


Rock land 


VrF 


Venezia very stony loam. 30 to 60% slopes 



3.1.4.3 Soil Suitability and Revegetation Potential 

The suitability of a soil type for a particular use is 
rated on a relative scale. A low rating means the soil is 
ideally suited for the intended use; a moderate rating 
indicates constraints on the intended use that can be 
overcome through project design or management 
practices; and a severe rating indicates constraints on 
the intended use that can only be overcome with special 
designs and intensive management. An unsuitable 
rating implies that the soil constraints cannot be 
mitigated at a reasonable cost. 

Topsoil Suitability. The term topsoil refers to soil 
material that is used to cover an area to improve soil 
conditions for establishing and maintaining vegetation. 
Generally, soils rich in organic matter make the best 
topsoil, but ease of excavation, loading and spreading 



were also considered in the ratings. Topsoil suitability 
was determined only for the soils occurring within the 
MSA. 

Surface soils in the MSA are all moderately suitable 
for topsoil reclamation purposes, based on 
characteristics that affect plant growth, such as pH, soil 
texture, organic matter content, field estimated 
hydraulic conductivity, saturation percent and salinity, 
as well as ease of handling. Cellar soils contain about 
six inches of suitable topsoil and Cordes and Gaddes 
soils about 30 inches each. Only the surface layer of 
Cellar soils is deemed suitable topsoil, whereas the 
entire profile of Cordes and Gaddes soils is suitable. 
Suitable topsoil at the proposed mine is not abundant. 
The soils with the most available topsoil are also the 
least extensive. 



3-19 



Revegetation Potential. Revegetation potential 
refers to the ease in re-establishing or maintaining a 
vegetative cover under natural conditions after removal 
from the soil surface. The soils of the MSA exhibit a 
moderate to severe revegetation potential based on their 
capability of supporting the growth of grass and shrubs. 
The revegetation ratings are based on inherent soil 
fertility, erosional potential, shrink-swell potential, rock 
fragments, pH and slope. Cellar soils have a severe 
rating due to their low inherent fertility, and all soils on 
slopes of 60 percent or greater are rated severe for 
revegetation. All other soils at the site have a moderate 
revegetation potential. 



3.2 WATER RESOURCES 
3.2.1 SOURCES OF INFORMATION 

Hydrogeologic data have been collected to 
characterize and evaluate the groundwater and surface 
water resources of the MSA and the Water Resources 
Study Area (WRSA). The proposed development 
activities and surface disturbance would occur within 
the MSA and pipeline and water supply corridors. The 
hydrogeologic conditions of the study areas have been 
evaluated using information from exploration borings, 
existing and new wells and private wells. This data 
falls into the following general categories. 

♦ Pump tests and/or slug tests were conducted on 
eight wells in 1995-1996. These tests estimate 
the capacity of the rock units to store and 
transmit water. Appendix A lists the wells and 
the pump/slug test results. 

♦ Groundwater levels were monitored in a number 
of wells from 1995-1998. Appendix B lists 



those wells and recorded groundwater 
elevations. 

♦ Groundwater quality was monitored in a number 
of wells in 1995-1996. Appendix C lists those 
wells and the water quality of samples taken 
from those wells. 

♦ Samples of waste rock and existing mill tailings 
were analyzed to evaluate their geochemical 
characteristics. The results are presented in 
Appendix D. 

♦ Appendix E contains water rights information 
for groundwater (Table E- 1 ) and surface water 
(Table E-2). 

♦ A number of springs and streams were 
monitored for flow rate and/or water quality in 
1 996. Appendix F lists the water sources and 
the measurements recorded. 

The hydrogeologic data used to characterize the 
existing water resources and use in the MSA and 
WRSA are documented in the following reports: 

♦ Groundwater Resources Consultants, Inc. (June 
1 996) - Baseline hydrogeologic characterization 
report for the proposed Yarnell Mine Project. 

♦ Shepherd Miller, Inc. (August 1 995) - Baseline 
geochemical characterization report for the 
Yarnell Project. 

♦ Shepherd Miller, Inc. (September 1995) - 
Baseline hydrologic characterization report for 
the Yarnell Project. 

♦ Yarnell Mining Company (1994 updated in 
1995 and 1996) Mining Plan of Operation for 
the Yarnell Project, Yarnell, Arizona. 

♦ Shepherd Miller. Inc. (April 1996) - Facilities 
Design Report for the Yarnell Project. 

♦ Shepherd Miller, Inc. (April 1996) - Facilities 
Summary Report for the Yarnell Project. 



3-20 



♦ Shepherd Miller, Inc. (October 1996) - 
Responses to ADEQ, comments on hydrologic 
and BADCT technical review of the APP 
application for the Yarnell Project. 

3.2.2 SURFACE WATER OCCURRENCE, 
FLOW AND QUANTITY 

3.2.2.1 Water Resources Study Area ( WRSA) 

Most of the WRSA is contained within the 
northwest corner of the Hassayampa River watershed; 
the northern edge of the WRSA is contained within the 
Bill Williams River watershed (Figure 3-6). The 
principal drainages in the WRSA are Antelope Creek, 
Fools Gulch and Weaver Creek, all of which are part of 
the Hassayampa River watershed. Drainages other than 
Antelope Creek were observed to be non-flowing, 
except near springs. Antelope Creek drains southward 
toward Wickenburg, merging with Fools Gulch about 
1 8 miles south of the MSA and seven miles upstream 
of the confluence with the Hassayampa River. 
Antelope Creek drains into the Hassayampa River 
about two miles northwest of Wickenburg. 



Antelope Creek (Figure 3-6) extending upstream of the 
Michael Ranch (eastern border of Section 24) to the 
northeast quarter of Section 1 (GWRC June 1 996). 
Groundwater discharge makes up the baseflow of the 
perennial reach. 

Streamflow measurements for the Antelope Creek 
watershed began in December 1995 following the 
installation of three temporary gaging stations (Figure 
3-6). Streamflow measurements for these stations are 
tabulated and presented in Appendix F. 

In general, streamflows tend to peak in the winter 
and decline steadily during the spring. Flows at the 
lower gaging station on Antelope Creek ranged from 28 
to 400 gallons per minute (gpm) from December 1995 
through April 1996. Flows steadily declined from 
early April and by early June had decreased to about 
two gpm. Flows in upper Antelope Creek ranged from 
about 30 to 37 gpm from mid-March through mid-April 
1 996. By early June, the flow had decreased to about 
six gpm. Flows in East Antelope Creek ranged from 25 
to 50 gpm from December 1995 through April 1996 
and by early June, the flows and ponding had ceased. 



Antelope Creek. Antelope Creek drains an area of 
approximately 9.75 square miles before it joins Yarnell 
Creek. About 1 3 square miles are drained by Antelope 
Creek where it exits the southern boundary of the 
WRSA. Tributaries to Antelope Creek in the WRSA 
include East Antelope Creek, Yarnell Creek and Indian 
Creek. These flow seasonally in the winter and spring 
of some years. Summertime flows only occur 
sporadically following storm events and convey 
primarily surface runoff. 

The only potentially perennial drainage reach within 
the WRSA is an approximately two-mile reach of 



Springs. Springs in the WRSA were identified by 
a review of the comprehensive surface water rights and 
claims database maintained by the Arizona Department 
of Water Resources, U.S. Geological Survey 
topographic maps, aerial photos and during field 
reconnaissance. Nine of the 15 mapped springs (Figure 
3-6) are in the Antelope Creek watershed, two (Fools 
Gulch Spring and an unnamed spring) are within the 
Fools Gulch watershed, two are in the Bill Williams 
River watershed (Juniper Spring and a nearby unnamed 
spring) and two are in the Weaver Creek basin to the 
east of the Antelope Creek basin (Barrel Spring and an 
unnamed spring). 



3-21 



Historic spring flow data is not available. Flows 
were measured at eight of the nine springs within the 
Antelope Creek, Fools Gulch and Bill Williams River 
watersheds beginning in December 1995. The 
measurements are tabulated and graphed in Appendix 
F. Table 3-4 presents a summary of the locations, 
elevations, geology and flow ranges for the monitored 
springs. 

3.2.2.2 Mine Site Study Area 

Streams. The MSA is drained by Yarnell Creek to 
the east and Fools Gulch to the southwest. 
Approximately 55 percent of the MSA drains to 
Yarnell Creek; the remainder drains to Fools Gulch. 
Yarnell Creek discharges to Antelope Creek about 1 .75 
miles southeast of the MSA. The portion of the MSA 
that drains into Yarnell and Antelope creeks includes 
the proposed Heap Leach Pad and the North Waste 
Rock Dump (Figure 3-6). The South Waste Rock 
Dump would drain into Fools Gulch. 



A 1,700-foot stretch of Yarnell Creek beginning in 
the area of Cottonwood Spring displays wetland-type 
features (see Section 3.2.8). Otherwise, the MSA 
drainage channels have no groundwater baseflow 
component and convey flow mainly as runoff from 
storm events. 

Tom Cat Tank, a pond used for livestock watering, 
provides water seasonally. 

Springs. Cottonwood Spring is within the limits of 
the proposed mine site at the intersection of Yarnell 
Creek and the contact between Tertiary sediments and 
Precambrian granite; its source is believed to be mainly 
from the TSV aquifer unit described in Section 3.2.5. 1 . 
Cottonwood Spring discharges peaked in the winter, 
gradually decreased through spring, and ceased to flow 
by early June. 



TABLE 3-4 
Summary of Spring 1996 Data 



Name 


Location 


Elevation 
Feet (msl) 


Geologic 
Unit 


Flow Range 
12/95 -4/96 (gpm)* 


Flow 
6/96 (gpm) 


Watershed 


Yarnell 


T10N.R4W, SI 7 


5.780 


Tb 


51 to 63 


19.5 


Antelope Creek 


Juniper 


T10N.R4W, SI 7 


4,520 


Ts 


3.6 to 6.4 


4.0 


Bill Williams River 


Antelope 


T10N, R4W, SI 8 


4.400 


Tls/Ts 


3.8 to 5.3 





Antelope Creek 


Bovine 


T10N,R5W, SI 3 


4,240 


Ts/Xmv 


0.94 to 1 .9 



[ponding only) 


Antelope Creek 


Cox 


T10N.R5W. SI 3 


4.080 


Ts 


1.03 to 2.5 


0.58 


Antelope Creek 


Cottonwood 


T10N, R5W, S14 


4.580 


Ts/Ygd 


0.36 to 5.0 





Antelope Creek 


White 


T10N, R5W, S25 


4.040 


Xgrh 


0.7 to 1.75 


0.5 


Antelope Creek 


Fools Gulch** 


T10N. R5W, S5 


4.540 


Ygd 


0.75 to 1 .5 


0.6 


Fools Gulch 



gpm - gallons per minute 
Monitoring began in late March 1996 



3-22 




/ 



n 



3.2.3 SURFACE WATER QUALITY 

The Arizona State Water Quality Designated Use 
Standards for Antelope Creek and the Federal Drinking 
Water Standards are provided in Tahle 3-5 for 
comparison to the data collected from springs and 
surface water. The range of conditions exhibited by the 
stream and spring monitoring stations are also shown 
on the table. The important characteristics are 
summarized as follows. 

♦ The water quality of the perennial stretch of 
Antelope Creek, which includes the sampling 
stations at Upper and Lower Antelope creeks, 
met all of the Arizona State Designated Use 
Standards for that stream (Table C-6 of 
Appendix C). 

♦ The water quality of Yarnell Creek and East 
Antelope Creek met all of the Primary Federal 
Drinking Water Standards (Table C-6 of 
Appendix C). In Yarnell Creek, the total 
dissolved solids (TDS) of 570 parts per million 
(ppm) slightly exceeded the Secondary Federal 
Drinking Water Standard of 500 ppm. 

♦ The springs met all Primary Federal Drinking 
Water Standards. In Cottonwood, Cox and 
Bovine springs, manganese concentrations of 
0. 1 36-0.553 milligrams per liter (mg/l ) exceeded 
the Secondary Federal Drinking Water Standard 
of 0.05 mg./l. 

3.2.4 SURFACE WATER RIGHTS AND USE 

Water rights are claimed by the BLM. Arizona State 
Land Department and many private entities on surface 
water sources in the WRSA. These sources are in 
portions of two major stream basins - the Bill Williams 
Ri ver Watershed and the Hassayampa Ri ver Watershed 



of the Lower Gila River. At present, water rights in the 
Bill Williams River are not subject to a general state 
water rights stream adjudication. However, the Lower 
Gila River is a sub-basin of the ongoing Gila River 
General Water Rights Stream Adjudication. To date, 
no water rights claimed in the Gila River have been 
adjudicated (e.g., the validity, relative priority dates and 
ownership of these rights have yet to be fully 
determined by the courts). 

Rights to use water from springs, stockponds and 
streams in the WRSA have been filed by YMC for 
domestic, mining, irrigation, livestock, wildlife and 
recreation purposes with the ADWR. Table E-2 
(Appendix E) lists water rights and claims information 
such as the registration, owner, water source, 
designated use, allotted volumes, etc. A BLM grazing 
permittee holds stockpond claim 38-62572 for livestock 
watering at Tom Cat Tank. 

3.2.5 GROUNDWATER OCCURRENCE, 
FLOW AND YIELD 

3.2.5.1 Water Resources Study Area (WRSA) 

The rock units in the WRSA, described in Section 
3.1.3, have been grouped into three separate aquifer 
systems based upon their ability to store and transmit 
water. The following discussion of these aquifer 
systems, shown in Figure 3-7, will largely center 
around their hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity. 
Both quantities reflect the ease with which water moves 
through an aquifer. The ease of movement of water is 
important to know because it allows prediction of how 
fast pollutants could move through an aquifer under a 
hydraulic gradient (i.e.. driving force). 



3-25 



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AQUIFER SYSTEMS AND 

ROCK UNITS OF THE 

WATER RESOURCE 

STUDY AREA 



Bedrock Complex Aquifer System (BCAS). The 

Precambrian granitic, metasedimenlary and 
metavolcanic rocks, described in Section 3.1.3 and 
shown in figures 3-2 and 3-7, have been grouped into 
a single aquifer system. Groundwater in these rocks 
occurs and flows through joints, fractures and faults 
which developed after the formation of the rock. 
Primary openings (spaces between mineral grains) in 
the BCAS are non-existent. 

Based on the aquifer tests presented in Table A-l of 
Appendix A, the occurrence and movement of water in 
the BCAS can be summarized as follows. 

♦ The bulk hydraulic conductivity and 
transmissivity (the ability of the aquifer to 
transmit water) are low and within the range 
normally encountered with unfractured and 
fractured crystalline rocks. 

♦ The effective porosity (aquifer storage) is low, 
and based on professional judgment is estimated 
to be on the order of 0. 1 to one percent. 

♦ The presence of hydraulic boundary conditions 
in two of the pumping tests probably indicates 
the limited storage of water in the rock fractures. 

♦ A lack of response in the observation wells to 
pumping of the test wells supports the 
conclusion that hydraulic connections between 
fractures are poor. 

Tertiary Sediments/Volcanics Aquifer System 

(TSV). The rocks in the TSV, described in Section 
3.1.3 and shown in figures 3-2 and 3-7, have been 
segregated as a distinct aquifer system because, unlike 
the BCAS described above, groundwater mostly occurs 
and flows within spaces between mineral grains. 
Although well pump tests were not conducted in the 



TSV, the occurrence and movement of water in that 
aquifer system is described as follows. 

♦ The rate of movement of water is variable from 
location to location. This is because the TSV 
includes a number of rock types — fluvial 
sediments, lacustrine sediments, volcanic flows 
and tufaceous sediments. In addition, the degree 
of consolidation and clay content of the 
sediments, which affects the rate of water 
movement, is variable. 

♦ Some of the rock units in the TSV contain little or 
no water. The Tertiary basalt is generally dry. 

♦ The TSV is in hydraulic communication with 
the BCAS. This means that groundwater can 
flow between the two aquifer systems. 

Alluvial Aquifer System (AAS). The AAS is 
comprised of alluvial sediments found in two general 
locations. 

♦ The drainage channels in the mountains, where 
the occurrence of the AAS is limited to thin, 
discontinuous lenses. Groundwater may be 
temporarily stored in these lenses following 
runoff events. Along Antelope Creek south of 
the confluence with Yarnell Creek, the alluvium 
thickens and may remain partly saturated 
throughout the year. 

♦ The valley in the southwestern part of the 
WRSA, where the AAS is an extensive aquifer 
that thickens southerly in the direction of 
Wickenburg. 

Based on well pump tests presented in Table A- 1 of 
Appendix A, the occurrence and movement of water in 
the AAS in the valley in the southwest part of the 
WRSA can be summarized as follows. 



3-29 



♦ Groundwater moves more readily through the 
AAS than in the BCAS as indicated by 
hydraulic conductivities of 0.24 to 0.67 ft/day 
and by transmissivities from 500 to 2.000 gpd/ft. 

♦ More water is stored in the AAS than the 
BCAS. This is indicated by wells in the AAS 
(Section 28 wellfield and Well 2BCD) which 
can produce more water than wells in the 
BCAS, and estimated aquifer storage 
coefficients in the range of 0.005 to 0.01 . 

Groundwater Flow Directions. Regional 
groundwater elevations and inferred directions of 
groundwater flow are illustrated in Figure 3-8 and 
summarized in the paragraphs below. Figure 3-8 is 
based on water levels from wells measured in April 
1 996 (Table B-l , Appendix B). the elevation of springs 
and surface drainage patterns. 

Groundwater levels in the WRSA are a subdued 
expression of the land surface topography. 
Groundwater elevations range from just over 4,800 feet 
MSL in the northern part of the WRSA at Glen Ilah to 
less than 3,000 feet MSL in the southwest corner of the 
WRSA near the Parker Dairy. Depths to groundwater 
range from a few feet along the deeper drainage 
channels (such as Antelope Creek) to more than 500 
feet in the AAS to the south of the Parker Dairy. 



River and Bill Williams River watersheds. The 
location of the divide, which is more accurately 
described as a zone of groundwater divergence, is 
based on topography and groundwater elevations from 
nearby wells. A groundwater divide profile along 
Section Line A -A' of Figure 3-8 is illustrated in Figure 
3-9. The implications of the groundwater divide are as 
follows. 

♦ Groundwater north of the divide (or zone of 
divergence) migrates in a northerly direction, 
while groundwater south of the divide migrates, 
in general, in a southerly direction. 

♦ Groundwater under the towns of Glen Ilah and 
Yarnell moves to the north toward Peeples 
Valley, which is north of the WRSA. 

♦ Groundwater under the MSA migrates in a 
southerly direction and away from the towns of 
Glen Ilah and Yarnell. 

3.2.5.2 Mine Site Study Area (MSA) 

Groundwater elevations and inferred directions of 
groundwater flow in the MSA are illustrated in Figure 
3-10 and summarized in the paragraphs below. Figure 
3-10 is based on water levels from monitoring wells 
measured in January 1998, the elevations of springs 
and surface drainage patterns. 



In general, directions of groundwater flow are 
toward the channels of Yarnell Creek, Fools Gulch, 
Indian Creek and Antelope Creek. Groundwater near 
the axis of Antelope Creek flows southward toward 
Stanton. 

A groundwater divide has been inferred to exist 
approximately parallel to and 2.000 feet north of the 
surface drainage divide that separates the Hassayampa 



Groundwater beneath the MSA does not flow to 
Glen Ilah and Yarnell. The reasons for this are 
discussed in Section 3.2.5.1. 

A groundwater divide exists in the MSA, as shown 
in figures 3-10 and 3-11. The groundwater divide 
coincides with the topographic high of Yarnell Hill. 
Groundwater north and east of the divide flows toward 



3-30 







EXPLANATION 



a 
/ 



FIGURE 3-8 

REGIONAL 
GROUNDWATER LEVEL 
ELEVATION CONTOURS 



•:• - v, 
i- i - 

y '' ? 
y j 
yO? 




- 




(1SH) 133J 



I IOI1VA3H3 



Yarnell Creek; groundwater south and west of the 
divide flows toward Fools Gulch. 



wells in the WRSA; the locations of those wells are 
shown in figures 3-7 and 3-8. 



Groundwater exists fairly close to the surface in the 
MSA. Groundwater elevations of four monitoring 
wells from 1995 through 1997 ranged from about 0.5 
to 83 feet below ground surface (bgs). Two of the 
wells always show water less than 25 feet bgs (Table 
B-l of Appendix B). In addition, seeps were 
encountered in weathered soils on top of the bedrock in 
some locations in the spring of 1 995, particularly in the 
area of the proposed heap leach pad. This represents 
temporary perched groundwater that is not connected 
to the zone of saturation in the bedrock. It should be 
noted that these seeps were observed immediately after 
nearly 20 inches of rain fell in the preceding two 
months. 

The depth to groundwater is not uniform throughout 
the MSA at any given time. Table B-l of Appendix B 
shows that the depth to groundwater in the four wells 
can vary by as much as 43 feet. 

The depth to groundwater varies significantly by 
season and year, largely as a function of rainfall. In the 
spring of 1995, which followed a wet winter, 
groundwater levels in all four wells were less than 50 
feet bgs. 

3.2.6 GROUNDWATER QUALITY 

Most groundwater in the WRSA is a calcium- 
bicarbonate type. There are two exceptions. Water 
from the Michael Well is a sodium/magnesium- 
bicarbonate type, and water from Well YMC-04 is a 
calcium-sulfate type. Appendix C contains tables 
listing the results from groundwater quality testing of 



The Arizona State Aquifer Water Quality Standards 
(AWQS) and federal secondary drinking water 
standards are provided in Table 3-6 for comparison to 
data collected from wells in the WRSA. The range of 
conditions for each well is also shown in the table. The 
important characteristics of groundwater quality in the 
WRSA are summarized as follows. 

♦ The water from Well YMC-04 has a lower pH 
(5.85 to 6.53) and higher total dissolved solids 
(TDS) concentration (720 to 1,200 mg/1) than 
water from any other sampling site in the 
WRSA. There are two likely reasons for this: 
the well is drilled through historic mill tailings, 
and it intercepts the mineralized zone of the 
Yarnell Fault. Rock samples from where the 
well intercepts the fault contain sulfide-bearing 
minerals; these minerals react with groundwater 
to produce sulfate and acidity. 

♦ With the exception of Well YMC-04, the pH of 
all water samples from wells in the WRSA was 
within the secondary drinking water standard of 
6.5 to 8.5. 

♦ Sulfate concentrations in Well YMC-04 
exceeded the federal secondary drinking water 
standard of 250 mg/1. 

♦ Total and free cyanide was detected in a few 
samples from Well YMC-04. The 
concentrations were below regulatory 
thresholds. The source of cyanide may be from 
historic mill tailings near the well. 

♦ Metals were below the AWQS and the federal 
secondary drinking water standards, with two 
exceptions. Manganese exceeded the federal 
secondary drinking water standard in wells 



3-34 




PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTV, ARIZONA 



'..-fSHLO J^Alr 



FIGURE 3-10 

MINE SITE STUDY AREA 

GROUNDWATER MAP 

JAN 1998 



D 



r >';: 




iii a ' ; 
-J o 

l.i , , Q 



O Irt O £ o 
o m u. do 




MS 1*0 1333 



IOI1VA313 



3-37 



TABLE 3-6 

Water Quality of Four Wells in the Yarnell Mine Site Study Area 

Compared with the Arizona State Aquifer Water Quality Standards 



Parameter 
(milligrams per liter) 


AWQS* 


Range in Wells** 
YMC 01, 02, 03 and 04 


Field pH 

Field Conductivity (umhos/cm) 

Field Temperature ( °C) 

LabpH 

Lab Conductivity (umhos/cm) 

Total Dissolved Solids 


[6.5 to 8.5] 

NNS 

NNS 
[6.5 to 8.5] 

NNS 

[500] 


5.56 to 7.05 
675 to 1,422 
15.6 to 25.9 
6.6 to 7.9 
665 to 1,800 
440 to 1 ,200 


Sulfate 
Chloride 
Fluoride 

Carbonate (CaC0 3 ) 
Bicarbonate (as CaCO,) 
Hydroxide (CaCO,) 
Total Alkalinity (CaC0 3 ) 
NOVNO, - N, Total (as N) 


[250] 
[250] 
4.0 

NNS 
NNS 
NNS 
NA 
10.0 


50 to 720 
25 to 90 

0.48 to 2.6 
-5to-l 

128to412 
-1 

128to412 

0. 1 1 to 7.3 


Calcium 
Magnesium 
Potassium 
Sodium 


NA 
NA 
NA 
NA 


88.1 to 240 

10.8 to 42 

1 to 4.1 

30 to 102 


Antimony 

Arsenic 

Barium 

Beryllium 

Cadmium 

Chromium 

Copper 

Iron 

Lead 

Manganese 

Mercury 

Nickel 


0.006 

0.05 

2.0 

0.004 

0.005 

0.1 

[1.0] 

[0.3] 

0.05 

[0.05] 

0.002 

0.1 


-0.005 to 0.005 
-0.003 to 0.013 
0.01 2 to 0.489 
-0.004 to -0.005 

-0.0005 to 0.0008 
-0.005 to 0.017 
-0.005 to 0.017 

-0.02 to 8.7 

-0.002 to 0.008 

-0.01 to 5.87 

-0.0001 to -0.0002 
-0.005 to -0.020 


Selenium 
Silver 
Thallium 
Zinc 


0.05 
[0.1] 
0.002 
[5.0] 


-0.005 
-0.0002 to 0.015 
-0.002 to -0.005 
-0.025 to 1 .780 


Gross Alpha (pCI/L) 
Gross Beta (pCi/L) 


15 
50 


-11 to 19.8 
-19 to 12.9 


Cvanide. Free 


0.2 


-0.01 to 0.02 



* Aquifer Water Quality Standards; numbers in brackets are federal secondary water quality standards. 

NNS = No Numeric Standards 
'* A negative value indicates a result is below detectable limits. Numerical value is detection limit. 

umhos/cm = A measure of electrical conductivity. A mho is the reciprocal ohm. Micro = one millionth 

°C = Degrees Centigrade Milligram = one thousandth of a gram 

CaCO, = Calcium Carbonate pCi/L = Picocurries per liter 

N = Nitrogren 



3-38 



YMC-02 and YMC-03 in seven samples. Iron 
exceeded the federal secondary drinking water 
standard in wells YMC-02 and YMC-03 in one 
and seven samples, respectively. 
♦ Gross alpha exceeded the AWQS in Well YMC- 
03 in one sample. 



3.2.7 



GROUNDWATER PERMITS AND USE 



Groundwater in Arizona is not appropriable. It is 
owned by the state and use is authorized through a 
permit process with the ADWR. The WRSA is outside 
of any of the state's intensively-managed groundwater 
areas (called Active Management Areas). Groundwater 
use in the WRSA includes domestic, livestock, mining 
and commercial dairy withdrawals. Table 3-7 presents 
the estimated groundwater use in the WRSA. 



Known active water wells within one mile of the 
MSA are limited to the Stock Well, Wilhite Well and 
domestic wells in the towns of Glen Ilah and Yarnell. 
The location of all active wells is not well known 
because it appears from a review of the Arizona 
Department of Water Resources Well Registry (Table 
E-l in Appendix E) that there may be numerous 
unregistered wells. The closest active well 
downgradient from the MSA is at the Michael Ranch, 
approximately 2.5 miles southwest of the MSA. The 
well is reportedly used infrequently for domestic and 
stock purposes. Continuing downstream, several active 
wells in the Stanton area are primarily used for 
domestic supply and placer mining. 



TABLE 3-7 
Estimated Groundwater Use in the Vicinity of the Proposed Yarnell Project 



Type of use 


Gallons per day 


Acre-feet 
per year 


Percent of total 
current use 


Commercial Dairy - Parker Dairy 


300.000 - 450.000 


338 - 504 


57-66 


Domestic - Glen Ilah and Yarnell. public water supply' 


57,534 


64.5 


8- 11 


Domestic - Glen Ilah and Yarnell, individual wells 2 


25,000 


28 


4-5 


Domestic south of the mining site study area 3 


156,000 


158 


21 -27 


Mining - current use 


Negligible 


Negligible 


— 


Livestock 


1,800-2,700 


2-3 


< 1% 


Totals, without the Yarnell Mine 


540.334-691.234 


588.5 - 757.5 


100% 


Yarnell Mine, proposed use 4 


144.000 


161 


21 -27 


Totals, with Yarnell Mine 


684.334 - 835.234 


749.5-918.5 


121 - 127 



1 Water is supplied by the Yarnell Water Improvement Association, which obtains its water from wells in Peepies Valley. 
Peeples Valley is four miles northeast of Yarnell and outside of the WRSA. 

2 Based on an estimate of 250 wells, each pumping an average of 100 gallons per day. 

1 Based on 1 2 months water usage from Congress Water Improvement District (5/1/97) and an estimated 5,000 gallons per 

day additional usage. 
4 Based on a year-round average of 100 gallons per minute. Information on the water supply wells for the Yarnell Mine is 

in Table E-l of Appendix E. 



3-39 



Domestic water in Glen Ilah and Yarnell is derived 
either from individual domestic wells or, more 
typically, from a public water system managed by the 
Yarnell Water Improvement Association. The public 
supply is provided from two wells in Peeples Valley 
and conveyed along a four-mile pipeline to storage 
tanks upslope from the town of Yarnell. There are 
approximately 485 hookups to the public system with 
annual groundwater usage estimated at about 2 1 million 
gallons for 1995. 

Private groundwater consumption in the Glen 
Ilah/Yarnell area is expected to be low because of the 
public system and the combination of septic system use 
and shallow groundwater occurrence. Assuming that 
250 homes pump an average 1 00 gallons per day, these 
withdrawals would account for about 25,000 gallons 
per day or about 25 to 30 acre-feet per year. 

The Parker Dairy, in the southwest corner of the 
WRSA, produces from 300,000 to 450,000 gallons of 
water per day (325 to 500 acre-feet per year) from two 
wells completed in the AAS. The wells are about four 
miles south of the dairy. 

South of the MSA. the Congress Water 
Improvement District provides domestic water to 530 
hookups. Water usage for the year ending May 1, 1997 
was 55.2 million gallons. 

Small mining operations along Antelope Creek, 
including the Alvarado Mine north of the dairy, use 
negligible quantities of water. 



obtained a water agreement from the Arizona State 
Land Department for the use of Well 2BCD on state 
land. Without use of this well, YMC would likely have 
to search for a new water source. This EIS addresses 
impacts assuming that YMC will obtain use of Well 
2BCD. If YMC does obtain a different water source(s) 
in place of that well, this EIS will be modified 
accordingly. Well registration information for the 
proposed water supply wells is in Appendix E. YMC 
plans to pump a total of 1 00 gpm (year-round average) 
from its water supply wells; this corresponds to 161 
acre-feet per year. Additional information on the 
water supply system is described in Chapter 2. Section 
2.1.6.4. 



3.2.8 



WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES 



Any discharge or placement of dredged or fill 
material into waters of the U.S. is prohibited unless 
carried out under a permit issued by the COE under 
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Waters of the 
U.S. include drainages with a defined bed and bank and 
wetlands adjacent to or tributary to Waters of the U.S. 
Waters of the U.S. and wetlands are defined in 33 CFR 
328.3(a) and (b). Waters of the U.S., delineated 
according to procedures in the COE 1987 Wetland 
Delineation Manual, include Yarnell Creek, a 
southeast-draining tributary to Yarnell Creek, Fools 
Gulch, a westward-draining tributary to Fools Gulch, 
and 34 desert washes that would be crossed by the 
proposed water supply pipelines. Figures 3-12 and 3- 
13 show Waters of the U.S. that could potentially be 
affected by the proposed project. 



YMC proposes to use groundwater from a number 
of wells. The use of Well TW-01 would require an 
authorization from the BLM. YMC has not yet 



The MSA and pipeline corridors include desert 
washes that have been delineated as waters of the U.S. 
These washes were delineated based on the observed 



3-40 



channel width as defined hy erosion, the ahsence of 
vegetation, the prevalence of water-sorted sand, 
sediment deposits, drift lines and water-sorted debris. 
Portions of four washes (Figure 3-12) in the MSA 
delineated as Waters of the U.S. total approximately 
5,250 feet in length. 

The west pipeline corridor crosses 33 desert washes 
and the east pipeline corridor crosses one, Yarnell 
Creek. The width of most desert washes ranges from 
one to 20 feet. However, some crossings are at an 
angle or parallel to the wash for short distances. As a 
result, two crossings are 100 and 136 feet wide and 
comprise 44 percent of the total 534 feet of desert 
washes crossed by the pipelines. With an average 
pipeline corridor width of 25 feet, approximately three- 
tenths of an acre of desert washes would be crossed. 
The estimated depth of the washes range from less than 
one foot to 30 feet. More than two-thirds of the washes 
have an estimated depth of five feet or less and three 
washes have an estimated depth of 25 to 30 feet. All of 
the desert washes were lined by upland vegetation, and 
hydrology indicators (such as erosion, mud cracks, 
debris, etc.) were present in most of the washes. 

Wetland/riparian vegetation occurs along small 
sections of Fools Gulch and Yarnell Creek. In Yarnell 
Creek, the substrate changes from sand to exposed 
bedrock, and springs and seeps create shallow pools. 
In the upper section of the wetland in Yarnell Creek 
where the substrate changes from sand to bedrock, a 
20-foot diameter pool (bench with an old dam) is used 
for livestock; several other pools, three to four feet in 
diameter and less than six inches deep, occur 
seasonally. The extent of these pools varies from year 
to year and seasonally during the year. The 
wetland/riparian vegetation begins about 300 feet west 
of the primitive road crossing Yarnell Creek and 



extends downstream for approximately 1,700 feet 
linearly. The jurisdictional wetlands are also shown in 
figures 3-12 and 3-13. 

In Fools Gulch immediately west of the MSA, 
several springs and seeps create a small, linear, 
discontinuous wetland along an approximate 800-foot 
section of the stream channel. This stream channel 
varies in widths from two to 15 feet and has been 
severely impacted by livestock grazing. The supply of 
water from the spring fluctuates from year to year, 
resulting in a wetland that varies in size from season to 
season. The area of this wetland is approximately 0. 1 5 
acres. 

3.3 BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES 



3.3.1 



VEGETATION 



3.3.1.1 Vegetation Types 

The MSA, east pipeline corridor and the higher 
elevations of the west pipeline corridor are all in the 
Interior Chaparral Scrub Vegetation Zone as mapped 
and described by Brown and Lowe ( 1 980) and Shrieve 
and Wiggins (1964). The majority of the western 
pipeline corridor is in the Arizona Upland Subdivision 
of the Sonoran Desert Scrub Vegetation Zone as 
mapped and described by Shrieve and Wiggins (1 964) 
and Brown and Lowe (1980). 

The vegetation of the MSA and the water pipeline 
corridors is described from quantitative and qualitative 
baseline studies completed by Western Ecological 
Resources (1994 and 1996). The Interior Chaparral 
Vegetation Zone has five distinct vegetation types and 
the Arizona Upland Subdivision of the Sonoran Desert 
Scrub has two. 



3-41 



The small knobby granite outcrops with shallow 
soils in the southern half of the MSA are characterized 
by a mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) 
shrubland. Dry, south- and southeast-facing 
mountainous slopes have a dense shrub community 
characterized by turpentine bush (Haplopappus 
larcifolius) and wait-a-minute bush (Mimosa 
biuncifera). Shrub live oak {Quercus turbinella). the 
most abundant vegetation type, occurs throughout the 
southern half of the MSA and on the relatively gentle 
topography of the south-facing slope of Antelope Peak, 
north of Yarnell Creek. The very steep, mesic. north- 
facing slopes are dominated by a tall, dense, live oak 
community. Several years before the initial 
quantitative baseline study in 1991, about 66 acres of 
the live oak shrubland burned on the southwestern 
portion of the MSA, increasing the area of exposed soil 
and rock while reducing the vegetation cover. 

Two vegetation types occur in the Arizona Upland 
Subdivision of the Sonoran Desert Scrub Zone, which 
extends from the lowest elevations of the MSA to an 
elevation of about 3,900 feet. They include a 
paloverde-mixed cacti scrub vegetation type through 
the plain and a desert wash vegetation type along the 
many sandy, braided channels of Fools Gulch. 



density of shrubs, a modest cover of perennial grasses 
and a low cover of succulents, nolinas and perennial 
forbs. Mountain mahogany is the dominant plant 
within the vegetation type. Other common shrubs 
include turpentine bush and live oak. The perennial 
grass cover is dominated by sideoats grama (Bouteloua 
curtipendula), the second most abundant plant in the 
vegetation type. Common succulents respectively 
include Englemann prickly pear {Opuntia phaeacantha 
var. discata), pancake pear {Opuntia chlorotica) and 
hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus fasciculatus). 
Beargrass (Nolina microcarpa) is the only nolina 
represented. 

Turpentine BushfWait-a-minute Bush Shrubland. 

This vegetation type is characterized by a high cover 
and density of shrubs, a modest cover of perennial 
grasses and a low cover of annual grasses, perennial 
forbs, succulents and nolinas. Turpentine bush and 
wait-a-minute bush provide well over one-half the 
cover and density in this vegetation type. Sideoats 
grama is the third most abundant plant. Engelmann 
prickly pear, pancake pear and beargrass are all 
sparsely represented, but more abundant in this 
southern exposed community than in any of the 
chaparral types. 



The seven vegetation types and wetlands are briefly 
described below. The vegetation types in the chaparral 
zone are described from quantitative data (WER 1 994) 
and the types in the Sonoran Desert from qualitative 
data (WER 1 996). Figures 3-12 and 3-13 illustrate the 
vegetation types of the MSA and pipeline corridors, 
respectively. Appendix G identifies the major plant 
species in the seven vegetation types. 

Mountain Mahogany Shrubland. This vegetation 
type is characterized by a relatively high cover and low 



Oak Shrubland. This vegetation type, the most 
extensive on the MSA and in the region, is 
characterized by very high cover and density of shrubs, 
a modest cover of perennial grasses and a low cover of 
perennial forbs, succulents and nolinas. Shrub live oak 
provides more than one-third of the cover and density 
of this vegetation type. Major perennial grasses 
include muttongrass (Poafendleriana) and blue grama 
(Bouteloua gracilis). Engelmann prickly pear, pancake 
pear and beargrass are all infrequently present. 



3-42 




Mountain Mahogany 



'AT" 



■- 


- Turp.ntln. Bush/ 
Walf-a-Mlnuta But 
Shrubland (TW) 


LJ- 


- Oak Shrubland (OS 


□ 


- Oak Shrubland 
North Slop* (OSN) 


n- 


Disturbed (D) 



i ■ - Area of Recent Fins 



Wat.™ of th. U.S. 



= 25' 



MINE SITE STUDY AREA 
VEGETATION TYPES MAP 




?CA_E IK FEET 



EX PLANATIO N 



TURPENTINE BU C ,HYWAIT A-MINUTE BUSH S 
OAK 5HRUBLAND 
PALOVERDE-CACTI-MI) 
DESERT WASH COMMUNITY 



'N^y 



WATERS OF THE U.S. 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA 



FIGURE 3-13 

WATER SUPPLY AND 

PIPELINE CORRIDORS 

VEGETATION TYPES MAP 



Oak Shrubland - North Slope. This vegetation 
type is characterized by a high cover and density of 
shrubs, a modest cover of perennial grasses and a low 
cover of perennial forbs and nolinas. Shrub live oak 
provides more than one-half of the cover and density 
for this vegetation type. Reverchon threeawn (Aristida 
glauca), the dominant grass, is the second most 
abundant plant in the vegetation type. Beavertail 
prickly pear (Opuntia basilaris) and Engelmann prickly 
pear are very sparsely represented in this north slope 
community. 

Oak Shrubland - Burned. This vegetation type is 
characterized by a moderately high cover and very high 
density of shrubs, a moderate cover of perennial 
grasses and forbs and a low cover of annual grasses, 
annual forbs and succulents. Fire reduced the total 
vegetation cover, significantly increased the area of 
bare soil and rock and reduced shrub cover, but 
increased shrub density. Shrub live oak is the major 
shrub and the dominant plant in the community, and 
snakeweed is the second most abundant. Major 
perennial grasses include spider grass (Aristida 
ternipes) and sideoats grama. The perennial forb cover 
is dominated by penstemon, the third most abundant 
plant in the community. Nearly all succulents were 
destroyed by the fire and today are sparsely represented 
by hedgehog cactus, pancake pear and Engelmann 
prickly pear. 

Paloverde- Mixed Cacti Scrub. This vegetation 
type is characterized by a relatively high cover and 
density of shrubs, a modest density and cover of cacti 
and a low cover of perennial grasses and forbs. 
Common shrubs present include foothills paloverde 
(Cercidium microphyllum), mesquite {Prosopis 
julifolia) and catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii). 
Perennial grasses infrequently present include purple 



threeawn (Aristida purpurea), black grama and big 
galleta (Hilaria rigida). 

The diverse succulent composition includes 
Engelmann prickly pear, buckthorn cholla (Opuntia 
acanthocarpa), teddy bear cholla (Opuntia bigelovii), 
beavertail prickly pear, pancake pear, hedgehog cactus, 
barrel cactus (Ferrocactus acanthoides var. lecontei) 
and saguaro (Carnegiea giganteus). Yuccas, nolinas 
and agaves are sparsely represented and include 
soaptree (Yucca elata). banana yucca (Yucca baccata), 
agave (Agave desertii) and nolina (Nolina bigelovii). 

Desert Wash. This vegetation type, which occurs 
along the sandy channels of Fools Gulch, is 
characterized by a high cover of large shrubs and many 
of the understory grasses and forbs characteristic of the 
paloverde-mixed cacti scrub vegetation type. Common 
shrubs include desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), 
mesquite, foothills paloverde, catclaw acacia and 
creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). Large stands of 
range ratany (Krameria parviflora) colonize the 
disturbed sandy soils along these dry desert washes. 

Wetlands. Springs and seeps along small sections 
of Yarnell Creek and Fools Gulch have created shallow 
pools of water and moist soil habitats with scattered 
riparian vegetation. These wetlands are characterized 
by grass-dominated wet areas with single or isolated 
trees and shrubs. Fremont cotton wood (Populus 
fremontii) and Goodding willow (Sallx gooddingii) are 
the only trees present. Infrequent shrubs include 
saltcedar (Tamarix pentandra) and seepwillow 
(Baccharis glutinosa). Numerous graminoids are 
present including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), 
rabbitfoot grass (Polypogon monspeliensis) and alkali 
muhly (Muhlenbergia asperifolia). Also present are 
cocklebur (a forb, Xanthium strumarium). Baltic rush 



3-47 



(Juncus balricus), bulrush (Scirpus microcarpus) and 
cattail (Typha latifolia). 

As illustrated by figures 3-12 and 3-13, Waters of 
the U.S. drainages with a defined "bed and bank" but 
without wetland plants have been mapped along 
Yarnell Creek, a southeast-flowing tributary to Yarnell 
Creek, Fools Gulch, a west-flowing tributary to Fools 
Gulch and approximately six desert washes which cross 
the water pipeline corridor. 

Disturbed Areas. Approximately 17 acres of 
disturbed land, most related to past mining activities, 
occur in the MSA and along the water pipeline 
corridors. Disturbed areas include tailing piles, 
exploration excavations, a network of abandoned and 
active access and exploration roads, a pond with a 
breached dam and an abandoned section of State 
Highway 89. 

3.3.1.2 Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive 
Plants 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Spiller 1992, 
1996) identified Arizona agave (Agave arizonica) and 
Arizona cliffrose (Purshia subintegra), both federally 
endangered, and Hokoham agave (Agave murpheyi), a 
former category 2 plant, as potentially present in the 
MSA. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (Olson 
1 996) identified flannelbush (Fremontia californica) as 
a sensitive plant potentially present. 

None of these plants were found in the MSA. 
Arizona cliffrose, an evergreen shrub up to six feet tall, 
is restricted to tertiary limestone and hence has no 
habitat in the MSA. The absence of prehistoric human 
habitation sites, with which it is commonly associated, 
limits the potential presence of Hokoham agave. 



Arizona agave and flannelbush both occur in chaparral 
habitats (Kearney and Peebles 1960) (Rutman 1992); 
however, neither was observed during the field 
inventories. 

3.3.1.3 Arizona Native Plant Law 

Table 3-8 identifies species of plants protected by 
the Arizona Native Plant Law and their protective 
status categories. To comply with the Arizona Native 
Plant Law. YMC would survey areas prior to 
disturbance and salvage and transplant any of these 
species (Table 3-8) found. The foothill paloverde 
(Cercidium microphyllum). present in the paloverde- 
mixed cacti scrub and desert wash communities along 
the west pipeline corridor, is salvage assessed and 
harvest restricted. Saguaro (Carnegia giganteus). 
present in the paloverde-mixed cacti scrub community, 
is highly safeguarded. The protected nolinas, agave, 
yuccas and cacti scattered throughout the proposed 
mine site and along the west pipeline corridor are 
salvage restricted. The two nolinas are also salvage 
and harvest restricted. 



3.3.2 



WILDLIFE 



Baseline surveys to evaluate the wildlife community 
were conducted in October 1991, July 1992 and 
September-October 1996. The 1991 and 1992 surveys 
were conducted within the MSA. The 1996 surveys 
were conducted to include the affected environment 
along the water supply and pipeline corridors. Survey 
timing was based on detecting high-interest wildlife 
species potentially present in the area. The results of 
these surveys were documented in reports dated 
December 1994 (Western Ecosystems, Inc. 1994) and 
November 1 996 (Western Ecological Resources 1 996). 
Supplemental wildlife surveys were conducted within 



3-48 



TABLE 3-8 

Arizona Protected Plants 

Yarnell Mine Project 







Protective Status* 


Highly 


Salvage 


Salvage 


Harvest 


Scientific Name 


Common Name 


Safeguarded 


Restricted 


Assessed 


Restricted 


Shrubs 










Cercidium microphyllum 


Foothills paloverde 




• 


• 


Succulents 










Carnegia gigameus 


Saguaro 


• 






Echinocereus fasciculatus 


Hedgehog cactus 




• 




Ferrocactus acantlwides var. lecontei 


Barrel cactus 




• 




Mammillaria microcarpa 


Pincushion cactus 




• 




Opuntia acanthocarpa 


Buckhorn cholla 




• 




Opuntia basilaris 


Beavertail prickly pear 




• 




Opuntia bigelovii 


Teddv bear cholla 




• 




Opuntia chlorotica 


Pancake pear 




• 




Opuntia ieptocaulis 


Christmas cactus 




• 




Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata 


Engelmann prickly pear 




• 




Agave/Nolinas/Yuccas 










Agave desertii ssp. simplex 


Desert agave 




• 




No Una bigelovii 


Nolina 




• 


• 


Nolina microcarpa 


Sacahuista 




• 


• 


Yucca baccata 


Banana yucca 




• 




Yucca data 


Soaptree 




• 





*These terms are applicable to the Arizona Native Plant Law and are defined as follows: 

Highly Safeguarded. This category includes those species of native plants and parts of plants, including the seeds and fruit, 
whose prospects for survival in this state are in jeopardy or which are in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant 
portion of their ranges, and those native plants which are likely within the foreseeable future to become jeopardized or in 
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges. This category also includes those plants resident 
to this state and listed as endangered, threatened or category 1 in the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L 93-205; 
87 Stat. 884; 16 U.S. Codes 1531 et seq.), as amended, and any regulations adopted under that act. 

Salvage Restricted. This category includes those native plants which are not included in the highly safeguarded category, 
but are nevertheless subject to a high potential for damage by theft or vandalism. 

Salvage Assessed. This category includes those native plants which are not included in either the highly safeguarded or 
salvage restricted categories, but nevertheless have a sufficient value if salvaged to support the cost of salvage tags and seals. 

Harvest Restricted. This category includes those native plants which are not included in the highly safeguarded category 
but are subject to excessive harvesting or overcutting because of the intrinsic value of their by-products, fiber or woody parts. 



the MSA and water supply and pipeline corridors by 
BLM biologists and results of those surveys have been 
incorporated herein. 

Field surveys were designed primarily to detect 
endangered, threatened and other high-interest species 
that had the greatest likelihood of occurrence given 
known habitat requirements. While survey intensity 
was considered adequate to detect high-interest species, 



if present, it is recognized that failure to locate a 
particular species during surveys does not necessarily 
indicate its absence in the study area or that it may not 
occur in the study area in the future. 

Evidence of two amphibian. 15 reptile. 45 bird and 
24 mammal species was observed during the surveys. 
Common and scientific names of the species are listed 
in tables 3-9 through 3-11. No fish were detected. 



3-49 



TABLE 3-9 

Amphibians and Reptiles Detected Near the Mine Site Study Area and 

Water Supply Corridors During October 1991, July 1992 and 

September-October 1996 Surveys 



SPECIES 

Common Name, Scientific Name 


SURVEY PERIOD 


October 
1991 


July 

1992 


October 
1996 


Lowland leopard frog, Rana yavapaiensis* 

Canyon treefrog, Hyla arenicolor* 

Desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii • 

Western whiptail lizard. Cnemidophorus tigris • • • 

Collared lizard. Crotophytus collaris • • 

Side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana • 

Tree lizard. Urosaurus ornatus • 

Desert spiny lizard, Sceloporus magister • 

Eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus • • • 

Short-horned lizard, Phrynosoma douglassi • • 

Zebratail lizard, Callisaurus draconoides • • 

Garter snake, Thamnophis sp* 

Sonoran mountain kingsnake, Lampropeltis pyromelana • 

Bullsnake, Pituophis melanoleucus • 

Sonoran whipsnake, Masticophis taeniatus • • 

Mohave rattlesnake, Crotalus scutulatus • 

Blacktailed rattlesnake. Crotalus molossus • • 



*Detected by the BLM on April 4. 1996. 



Thirteen federal or state threatened, endangered and 
sensitive species were considered potentially present on 
or near the MSA. Each of these species is discussed in 
greater detail below. 

The wildlife community in and around the proposed 
Yarnell Project area has been significantly influenced 
by historic mining activities and, to a lesser extent, by 
recent mineral exploration, recreational activities and 
livestock grazing. The effect of these activities has 
adversely influenced wildlife use of the area by 
converting native habitats to barren, unreclaimed 
habitats and displacing wildlife from human activity 
areas, although some components of the wildlife 
community have benefitted from abandoned 
underground mine workings (e.g., bats, javelina and 
others) and from seasonal water availability at 
stockponds. 



3.3.2.1 Habitat Types 

Habitats in the MSA, water supply and pipeline 
corridors are dominated by shrubs. Major habitats 
include: oak shrubland. burned oak shrubland, 
mountain mahogany shrubland, a low shrub 
community, wetlands along Yarnell Creek and Fools 
Gulch, disturbed areas and historic mine tunnels. 
Vegetative communities associated with these habitats 
were described previously in Vegetation Section 3.3. 1 . 

Oak Shrubland. Oak shrubland is the most 
extensive habitat on site, occupying approximately 52 
percent of the MSA. Two communities are present, 
based on aspect and soil moisture. The steep north- 
facing slopes are characterized by a dense woody 
community dominated by live oak with a relatively 
cool, moist, diverse understory, covering approximately 



3-50 



TABLE 3-10 

Birds Detected Near the Mine Site Study Area and Water Supply Corridors 

During October 1991, July 1992 and September-October 1996 Surveys 



SPECIES 

Common Name, Scientific Name 


SURVEY PERIOD 


October 


July 


October 




1991 


1992 


1996 


Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura 


• 




• 


Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos 




• 


• 


Cooper's hawk, Accipiter cooperii 






• 


Red-tailed hawk. Buteo jamaicensis 


• 


• 




American kestrel, Falco sparverius 






• 


Prairie falcon, Falco mexicanus 






• 


Gambel's quail. Callipepla gambelii 


• 


• 


• 


Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura 


• 


• 


• 


Greater roadrunner, Geococcyx californianus 


• 






White-throated swift. Aeronautes saxatalis 


• 




• 


Broad-tailed hummingbird. Selasphorus platycercus 






• 


Northern flicker, Colaptes auratus 


• 




• 


Gila woodpecker, Melanerpes uropygialis 






• 


Ladder-backed woodpecker, Picoides scalaris 


• 






Western kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis 




• 


• 


Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya 


• 


• 


• 


Violet-green swallow, Tachycineta bicolor 


• 






Scrub jay. Aphelocoma coerulescens 






• 


Pinon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus 


• 


• 


• 


Common raven, Corvus corax 




• 


• 


American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos 


• 




• 


Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps 


• 






Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus 




• 




Bewick's wren, Thryomanes bewickii 




• 




Cactus wren. Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus 


• 


• 


• 


Rock wren, Salpinctes obsoletus 


• 


• 


• 


Canyon wren. Catherpes mexicanus 


• 


• 




Northern mockingbird. Mimus polyglottos 


• 


• 




Sage thrasher. Oreoscoptes montanus 


• 






Black-tailed gnatcatcher, Polioptila melanura 


• 




• 


Phainopepla, Phainopepla nitens 


• 




• 


Loggerhead shrike. Lanius ludovicianus 


• 






Western meadowlark. Sturnella neglecta 


• 






Brown-headed cowbird. Molothrus ater 




• 




Scott's oriole. Icterus parisorum 




• 




House finch, Carpodacus mexicanus 




• 


• 


Pine grosbeak. Pinicola enucleator 








Spotted towhee. Pipilo erythrophthalmus 




• 


• 


Canyon towhee. Pipilo fuscus 




• 


• 


Lark sparrow, Chondestes grammacus 








Black-throated sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata 




• 




Sage sparrow. Amphispiza belli 






• 


Dark-eyed junco. Junto hyemalis 








Brewer's sparrow. Spizella breweri 








White-crowned sparrow. Zonotrichia albicollis 






• 








• 



3-51 



TABLE 3-11 

Mammals Detected Near the Mine Site Study Area and Water Supply Corridors 

During October 1991, July 1992 and September-October 1996 Surveys 



SPECIES 

Common Name, Scientific Name 


SURVEY PERIOD 


October 
1991 


July 

1992 


October 
1996 


Fringe-tailed myotis, Myotis thysanoides • • 

Western pipistrelle, Pipistrellus hespems • • 

Big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus • • • 

Townsend's big-eared bat, Plecotus townsendii • • • 

Desert cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii • • 

Black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus • • 

Cliff chipmunk, Eutamias dorsalis • • 

Harris' antelope squirrel, Ammospermophilus harrisii • • • 

Rock squirrel, Spennophilus variegatus • 

Round-tailed ground squirrel, Spernwphilus tereticaudus • 

Pocket mouse, Perognathus sp. • • 

Kangaroo rat, Dipodomys sp. • • 

Canyon mouse, Peromyscus crinitus • • 

Deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus • 

White -throated wood rat, Neotoma albigula • • • 

Coyote, Canis latrans • • • 

Gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus • • 

Ringtail, Bassariscus astutus • • 

Badger, Taxidea taxus • 

Hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus mesoleucus • • 

Mountain lion, Felis concolor • 

Bobcat, Felis rufus • 

Collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu • • • 

Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus • • • 



20 percent of the MSA. Large expanses of the xeric 
south-, west- and east-facing slopes are dominated by 
a lower density live oak shrubland covering 
approximately 32 percent of the MSA. 

Burned Oak Shrubland. Several years prior to 
1991, a fire burned part of the oak shrubland on the 
southwestern portion of the MSA. This area was 
mapped and vegetatively sampled in 1991 and 1994 as 
a separate community. This community, covering 
approximately 1 7 percent of the MSA, is dominated by 
live oak. Snakeweed, turpentine bush and other shrubs 
are also present. Surveys conducted in 1 996 found that 



the community was well on its way toward recovery as 
an oak shrubland. 

Mountain Mahogany. Coarse, rocky soils and 
boulder piles on exposed ridgetops in the southern half 
of the MSA are distinguished by a mountain mahogany 
shrubland that covers approximately eight percent of 
the study area. The mountain mahogany shrubland also 
contains numerous other shrubs. 

The oak and mountain mahogany shrub 
communities provide the most extensive, structural, 
vegetative habitat on site. This structure is important 
for a wide variety of avian and mammalian species for 



3-52 



shade, cover, forage and hunting and nesting sites. 
Mule deer and javelina commonly forage and hed in 
these types. Javelina forage heavily on prickly pear, an 
understory species, particularly as fruit is forming. The 
variety of shrubs in this community seasonally produce 
an abundance of seeds and berries. This helps support 
an abundance of mammals and birds, including a 
moderate number of Gambel's quail. Other common 
wildlife associated with these communities include 
western whiptails, eastern fence lizards, Sonoran 
whipsnakes, mourning doves, pinyon jays, rock wrens, 
northern mockingbirds, spotted and canyon towhees, 
desert cottontails, black-tailed jackrabbits, white- 
throated woodrats and a variety of other small rodents. 
The cover provided by the boulders associated with this 
community duplicates many of the shade, cover, forage 
and roosting functions provided by the taller 
vegetation. 

Turpentine Bush/Wait-a-Minute Bush. Steep 
south- and southeast-facing slopes are dominated by a 
dense, low shrub community, comprising 
approximately 20 percent of the MSA. This 
community is co-dominated by turpentine bush and 
wait-a-minute bush. The low structural diversity of this 
habitat limits the value of this community for some 
wildlife. Some of the more representative wildlife 
species in this habitat include western kingbirds. Say's 
phoebes, sage thrashers and lark sparrows. 

Wetlands. In Fools Gulch, the wetlands/riparian 
vegetation begins immediately west of the MSA. 
Several springs and seeps create a small, linear, 
discontinuous wetland along approximately 800 feet of 
the stream channel. The width of this wetland varies 
from two to 15 feet. It changes to xeric upland 
vegetation where water from the springs and seeps is 
not present. The wetland has been severely impacted 



by livestock grazing. The water supply from the spring 
fluctuates from year to year and results in a wetland 
that varies in size from season to season. This wetland, 
comprising approximately 0.15 acre, contains a few 
trees including Gooding willows and Fremont 
Cottonwood and sparse shrubs including seepwillow 
and saltcedar. Graminoids, including Baltic rush, 
Bermuda grass and rabbitwood grass and a forb, 
cocklebur, are present. 

The wetlands/riparian vegetation in Yarnell Creek 
begins about 300 feet west of the primitive road 
crossing and extends downstream approximately 1 ,700 
feet linearly. This discontinuous wetland, comprising 
less than an acre, includes eight individual, isolated 
Fremont cotton woods up to 25 to 30 feet tall, five 
Gooding willow shrubs 10 to 15 feet tall, some Emory 
baccharis and saltcedar. Localized herbaceous 
understory plants include rabbitfoot grass, bulrush, 
cattails and other herbaceous species. A 20-foot 
diameter pool, periodically used for livestock watering, 
and several smaller pools of water, three to four feet in 
diameter and less than six inches deep, seasonally 
occur in the upper section of the wetlands where the 
substrate changes from sand to exposed bedrock. The 
extent of these pools varies within and between years. 
This linear wetland/riparian community immediately 
changes to xeric upland vegetation outside of the 
intermittent creek channel and in portions of the 
channel where water from seeps is no longer available. 
No fish, amphibians or any other wildlife species with 
riparian/wetland affinities were detected in this 
community during wildlife or vegetative baseline 
surveys. This is likely due to the isolation, ephemeral 
nature of surface water, limited structural vegetative 
development and small linear configuration of this 
otherwise valuable habitat type. However, lowland 



3-53 



leopard frogs were observed by BLM staff at 
Cottonwood Spring in April 1996. 



this latter community were described previously in the 
Vegetation section. 



There are no perennial water sources in the MSA or 
pipeline corridors. The MSA is 10 to 20 miles 
upstream of any perennial creeks, although some local 
creeks may perennially support water. Several shallow 
basins have been excavated to provide water for stock 
by retaining precipitation. Cottonwood Spring, Fools 
Gulch Spring and the Tom Cat Tank stockpond provide 
water seasonally. 



3.3.2.2 Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive 
Species 

Based on regional distributions and/or habitat 
affinities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
and AGFD identified 13 federal or state threatened, 
endangered and sensitive wildlife species as potentially 
present at the MSA (Table 3-12). 



Disturbed Areas. Disturbed areas on the previously 
mined site include historic tailings at the head of 
Yarnell Creek, roads and unreclaimed mined land. 
Excluding roads, these areas total three percent of the 
MSA. These areas have limited value to wildlife, but 
are commonly used by a wide variety of lizards, birds 
and some mammals for dust bathing. 

Mine Tunnels. At least 3,800 feet of historic 
underground mine workings (50 years or older) occur 
within the MSA. These abandoned tunnels and 
additional stopes and shafts support a moderate 
diversity, but a low number, of bats, and represent cool, 
diurnal and seasonal refuge for snakes, skunks, javelina 
and other wildlife species. Due to reduced evaporative 
losses, some of the mine tunnels support small pools of 
infiltrated precipitation for up to several months. 
Although water quality is uncertain, these pools are 
used by wildlife, including bats, javelina and ringtails. 

Sonoran Desertscrub. Habitats in the vicinity of 
the 2BCD well section of the water supply corridor 
transition from those associated with the chaparral 
vegetative community to those associated with the 
lower elevation, Sonoran desertscrub-Arizona upland 
community. Paloverde-mixed cacti scrub habitats in 



Except for occupied desert tortoise habitat in 
sections of the 2BCD well pipeline corridor and scat 
that may have been from a chuckwalla in the 2BCD 
well pipeline corridor, no other evidence of any of 
these species was detected during baseline surveys. 
Field surveys were specifically designed to detect the 
species of special concern that had the greatest 
likelihood of being present (i.e., bats and desert 
tortoise), based on the occurrence of potential habitats, 
known species' distributions and species' habitat 
affinities. Of the undetected species, it is possible, 
though unlikely, that three (peregrine falcon, Arizona 
Southwestern toad and Yavapai Arizona pocket mouse) 
may be present, but were not detected, possibly due to 
survey methods, survey timing and/or the short duration 
of use that might occur on the MSA. The AGFD's 
Heritage Data Management System had no records of 
any other endangered, threatened or other special status 
wildlife species in the vicinity of the MSA or pipeline 
corridors. The status of all 13 species potentially 
present is discussed below. 

Under the ESA. formal consultation with the 
USFWS is not required if the BLM determines that the 
proposed action would have no impact on listed 
species. Pursuant to fulfilling requirements of the 



3-54 



TABLE 3-12 
Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species 



Species 


Designation 


Arizona Southwestern toad, Bufo microscaphus 


S a 


Lowland leopard frog. Rana yavapaiensis 


s 


Sonoran desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii 


s 


Chuckwalla, Sauromalus obesus 


s 


Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis 


s 


Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus 


FE b 


Mexican spotted owl. Stri.x occidentalis lucida 


FT 


Cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl, Glaucidium brasilianum 


FE 


Southwestern willow flycatcher, Empidonax traillii extimus 


FE 


California leaf-nosed bat. Macrotus californicus 


s 


Lesser long-nosed bat, Leptonycterus sanborni 


FE 


Cave myotis, Myotis velifer 


S 


Yavapai Arizona pocket mouse, Perognathus ampins amplus 


S 



S = Sensitive Species (identified by the USFWS. BLM or AGFD as being of special concern). 
b FE = Federal Endangered species. 
c FT = Federal Threatened species. 



ESA, project impacts were evaluated for those species 
listed in Table 3-12 that were identified by the USFWS 
and BLM as being potentially present in or adjacent to 
the MSA. The analysis indicated that the proposed 
action would have no effect on any of the listed 
species. Therefore, formal consultation was not 
required. 

Arizona Southwestern Toad. The Arizona 
Southwestern toad (a federal species of concern) 
inhabits streams in rocky canyons and woodlands in the 
pine-oak zone of southeastern Arizona. It breeds in 
streams or creeks and is not directly dependent on 
rainfall. This species' distribution in southeastern 
Arizona extends toward, but does not include, the MSA 
in west central Arizona. 

No toads were detected on or around the MSA 
during field surveys; however, no nocturnal surveys 
were conducted through the most suitable habitats 
during conditions when this toad would be most 
detectable. This level of effort was considered 



appropriate because the MSA is outside the toad's 
known distribution and in a lower life zone. There are 
no perennial streams within the MSA and no open 
water sources available to toads, except at the mouth of 
several adits, the stockpond (Tom Cat Tank), the pond 
fed by Cottonwood Spring and at several small 
ephemeral pools occasionally present along a section of 
Yarnell Creek. A small, covered pool at the entrance to 
an adit on the southeastern portion of the MSA was 
surveyed during July and October surveys. There was 
no evidence of any toads or their use of the pool for 
reproduction. July 1992. October 1991 and April and 
October 1996 surveys along the headwater section of 
Yarnell Creek within the MSA also located no 
evidence of toads; however, no pooled water was 
present along the series of seeps when the 1 992 surveys 
were conducted. Toads would not be expected to be 
detectable under those conditions. A survey of these 
seeps by WER's plant ecologist in the fall of 1994, 
when pools were present, did not detect any 
amphibians. Lowland leopard frogs were detected at 
Cottonwood Spring in April 1996. No evidence of 



3-55 



amphibians was detected during October 1996 surveys 
of pools of water downslope of Fools Gulch Spring in 
the vicinity of the water supply corridor. 

More suitable, potential Southwestern toad habitat 
begins less than two miles down drainage from the 
MSA, near the confluence of Yarnell and Antelope 
creeks, and continues down Antelope Creek. This area 
supports intermittent water for longer periods, 
including at least intermittent pools. Reaches of 
Antelope ( 1 993, 1 995) and Weaver creeks ( 1 993) were 
surveyed for native fish and ranid frogs by BLM 
biologists (T. Hughes, BLM, personal communication, 
L. Saylor, AGFD, Oct. 13, 1995 letter; D. Hoerath, 
BLM, Feb. 1997 personal communication). No 
Southwestern toads were located during those surveys. 

Lowland Leopard Frog. Lowland leopard frogs 
primarily occur in permanent waters below 3,000 feet 
in south-central, west-central and extreme northwestern 
Arizona (AGFD 1988). Elevations on the MSA range 
from approximately 4.600 to 5,100 feet, so the site is 
well above the primary range of this species. As 
described above, there are no perennial or intermittent 
streams on the MSA and no open water sources 
available to frogs, except at the isolated entrance to the 
"Water Adit" and at small ephemeral pools present 
some years in the vicinity of Cottonwood and Fools 
Gulch springs. Lowland leopard frogs were detected at 
Cottonwood Spring on April 4, 1996. This site and 
adjacent reaches of Yarnell Creek were probably 
colonized from more permanent water sources 
downstream during suitable dispersal conditions. 

Occupied lowland leopard frog habitat occurs 
downstream of the MSA. During 1993, 1995 and 1996 
surveys, BLM biologists located leopard frogs as close 
as Antelope Creek, near the confluence of Yarnell 



Creek (T. Hughes, D. Hoerath, BLM, personal 
communication, L. Saylor, AGFD, Oct. 13, 1995 
letter). Canyon treefrogs were also located in this area 
in 1996 (D. Hoerath, BLM, personal communication). 
Leopard frogs were also located in Weaver Creek in 
1993. This occupied habitat is approximately two 
miles down drainage from the MSA. 

Desert Tortoise. The MSA occurs at the upper 
elevational margin of the non-urban Sonoran desert 
tortoise distribution, outside of BLM -categorized 
tortoise habitat. While Sonoran desert tortoises (a 
federal species of concern and state sensitive species) 
do not generally occur within the relatively high 
chaparral vegetative community, the MSA is in a 
transition zone with lower, more typical tortoise 
habitats associated with the Sonoran desertscrub- 
Arizona upland community. These latter habitats 
overlap portions of the 2BCD well water supply 
pipeline and are classified by the BLM as category U 
and III tortoise habitat. 

Following BLM consultation, a July 8, 1992, 
variable width line transect was used to systematically 
search approximately 143 acres of the most suitable 
habitat on the MSA and surrounding area for desert 
tortoise sign. Total transect length was 5.4 miles. No 
evidence of desert tortoise was located along this 
transect, in any of the historic mine workings or during 
seven other days of field surveys on the MSA. The 
need for this survey was based on one desert tortoise 
located by AGFD personnel approximately 0.47 miles 
south of the MSA at the head of Indian Creek drainage 
in 1991. Desert tortoise scat was also located around 
the microwave communication tower approximately 
0.34 miles south of the MSA. Areas where sign was 
located were within the chaparral-Arizona upland 



3-56 



desert transition zone and similar to habitats present on 
the MSA. 

In the marginal habitats within this transition zone, 
tortoises may occasionally occur or be resident at low 
densities on the MSA, but no evidence of their 
presence was located during systematic and other 
surveys through the most suitable habitats on site. 
Therefore, the MSA remains outside of categorized 
tortoise habitat. 



the mountains. No burrows were detected along the 
alignment; however, the transect followed a linear 
corridor and that portion through what was considered 
the highest quality tortoise habitat mostly followed an 
old road bed or a wash. Tortoises probably occur 
elsewhere along the lower pipeline alignment in washes 
and on flats nearly one mile away from rocky bajadas 
and mountain slopes: however, that habitat is of lower 
quality where tortoises probably occur at lower 
densities. 



The upper portion of the TW-01 well pipeline 
alignment, extending east outside the MSA. supports 
shrub-dominated chaparral habitats similar to those on 
the project area. No sign of desert tortoise was located 
during a September 30, 1996, survey of the corridor. 
The area affected by the existing TW-01 well and 
proposed pipeline to the mine is considered to be non- 
desert tortoise habitat, similar to that characteristic of 
the proposed mine site. 

The October 1, 1996. survey of the 2BCD well 
pipeline corridor determined that the vegetative "break" 
between chaparral -dominated, non-tortoise habitats and 
the Sonoran desertscrub-Arizona Upland association, 
more characteristic of tortoise habitat, occurred along 
a ridge uphill of the proposed pump station and 1 ,000- 
gallon water tank in the middle of Section 22 (Figure 3- 
14). This tortoise habitat "boundary" occurs on state 
land. 

A total of two tortoises, eight scats in six groups, 
one piece of tortoise plastron and numerous potential 
shelter sites was located in the sections 22 and 21 
portion of the proposed 2BCD well corridor (Figure 3- 
14). No sign was located in washes or below the 
3.380-foot elevation, which corresponds to the toe 
slope of the bajadas and boulder outcrops at the base of 



BLM land affected by the 2BCD well water supply 
corridor include parcels on sections 28 and 33. State 
land affected include parcels on sections 22, 33, 34. 3 
and 2. Private land affected by the pipeline corridor 
include parcels on sections 21, 28, 15 and 23. Tortoise 
habitat quality differs within these sections. 

Based on field survey results and corroborated by 
the BLM (D. Hoerath, wildlife biologist, personal 
communication Oct. 2 and 25, 1996), the following 
tortoise category boundaries were determined (Figure 
3-14). Desert tortoise habitat categories range from I 
to III (Desert Tortoise Compensation Team 1991). 
Briefly, category I habitat is essential to maintaining 
large viable populations. Category II habitat may be 
essential to maintaining viable populations, and 
category III habitat is not essential to maintaining 
viable populations. The Yarnell Mine site and the TW- 
01 well/pipeline are outside of tortoise habitat. Non- 
tortoise habitat also extends down the 2BCD well 
pipeline to approximately the 3,900-foot elevation on 
state land in Section 22. Lower pipeline segments on 
Section 22 and portions of Section 21 (private and 
BLM) containing rocky bajadas and boulder outcrops 
on mountain slopes support relatively high-quality 
tortoise habitat with at least medium tortoise densities 
that are important to the viability of this tortoise 



3-57 



population. This area would be most appropriately 
classified as category II tortoise habitat. This finding 
is consistent with the results of a recent survey 
conducted on a contiguous property in Section 21 (T 
Hughes, BLM, personal communication). The 
boundary between category II and HI habitat occurs 
where the pipeline leaves rocky terrain and enters and 
follows the sandy bottom of Fools Gulch in the SEVi of 
Section 21. Habitat along the pipeline below the 
category II/III boundary [in portions of sections 21 and 
28 (private and BLM)] to the County Road (up to one 
mile from the toe slope of the mountains) should be 
classified as category ID habitat. Unoccupied tortoise 
habitat extends below this point along the remainder of 
the 2BCD well pipeline (state and BLM land). 

Chuckwalla. Chuckwallas (a federal sensitive 
species) are a widely distributed desert iguanid closely 
associated with rocky terrain and creosote bush, a 
staple food. This species is generally associated with 
lower elevation Sonoran desertscrub communities, 
more characteristic in the 2BCD well pipeline corridor, 
rather than the higher elevation chaparral, which is 
more characteristic of the MSA. Scat that may have 
been that of a chuckwalla was located in apparently 
suitable habitat on private land (Section 21 ) along the 
2BCD well pipeline corridor on October 1, 1996. 

Northern Goshawk. The northern goshawk (a 
federal and state sensitive species) is a forest-interior 
species associated with mountainous coniferous forests 
and high mesas in the northeastern half of Arizona 
(AGFD 1988). A small breeding population also 
occurs in suitable habitats in southeastern Arizona. 
The low-elevation chaparral habitats on the MSA are 
structurally unsuitable for this species, and there are no 
records of this species from the general area. 



Peregrine Falcon. Peregrine falcons are a federal 
endangered species and state sensitive species. Two 
peregrine falcon subspecies occur in Arizona (AGFD 
1988). F. p. anatum breeds on isolated cliff ledges 
statewide. This subspecies is recovering in the state 
after the adverse effects of pesticide use north of 
Mexico. There are no known active, inactive or 
historic peregrine falcon aeries or hack sites in the 
vicinity of the MSA or in adjacent areas where the site 
could be considered to be within a hunting territory. P. 
f. tundrius occurs statewide as a migrant, transient 
and/or (rarely) as wintering individuals. While it is 
possible that such use could occur in the vicinity of the 
MSA, there are no habitats on site that support 
moderate or high densities of preferred prey species, 
nor particularly favorable settings which can expose 
prey to peregrine attack. The down-drainage riparian 
zone along Antelope Creek, as well as some 
surrounding creeks in steep canyons, provide the type 
of prey base in physiography where prey is vulnerable 
to peregrines. Nevertheless, there is no evidence of any 
peregrine use of the study area. 

Mexican Spotted Owl. Mexican spotted owls (a 
federal and state threatened species) inhabit steep, 
wooded canyons in mountains and on high mesas, 
primarily in the northeastern half of Arizona (AGFD 
1 988). They require a cool microclimate and, possibly, 
a permanent water source. They are threatened by 
logging and possibly by competition with great horned 
owls (Bubo virginianus) in thinned forests. The low- 
elevation, chaparral habitats on the MSA are 
structurally unsuitable for this species, and there are no 
records of this species from the general area. 

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Cactus 
ferruginous pygmy-owls (a federal and state 
endangered species) are now present in southern 



3-58 




SCALE IN FEET 



E>PLANATlON 

™"^"" NON-TORTOISE HABITAT 
i— ■— ■ CATEGORY II TORTOISE HABITAT 
I^HBHBB CATEGORY III TORTOISE HABITAT 
I DESERT TORTOISE SIGN 



X 



DELINEATED WETLANDS 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA 

FIGURE 3-14 

WATER SUPPLY AND 
PIPELINE CORRIDORS 

DESERT TORTOISE 
SIGNS AND HABITAT 



Arizona, in such areas as xeric riparian washes in 
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, riparian 
forests of the lower San Pedro River and saguaro 
forests near Tucson (AGFD 1988). There is no 
suitable habitat for this owl on or around the proposed 
study area, which is outside the range for the species. 

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. In Arizona, the 
Southwestern willow flycatcher (a federal and state 
endangered species) is closely associated with wooded 
wetland and riparian habitats within the Sonoran 
lifezone. It may also occur at higher elevations where 
structurally suitable habitats are available. This species 
has been extirpated from areas and is further threatened 
by ongoing riparian habitat losses. There is no suitable 
habitat for this flycatcher on or around the MSA, and 
there are no records of it from the surrounding area. 
The linear, discontinuous riparian vegetation along the 
200-foot reach of Yarnell Creek on the northeastern 
portion of the MSA is considered to be too small a 
habitat block to support even one pair of these 
flycatchers. 

California Leaf-nosed Bat. The California leaf- 
nosed bat (Macrotus), a federal and state sensitive 
species, is a member of a tropical family that only 
enters the U.S. in the southern parts of California, 
Arizona and Nevada (Barbour and Davis 1969). In 
Arizona, it inhabits Sonoran desertscrub habitats in the 
southern and western parts of the state (Hoffmeister 
1986; AGFD 1988). The MSA, along the transition 
between the upper elevation chaparral vegetative 
community and the lower elevation Sonoran 
desertscrub- Arizona upland vegetative communities, is 
also at the upper elevational boundary of Macrotus's 
elevational distribution. 



Macrotus do not hibernate and because they poorly 
regulate their body temperatures, they rely on 
geothermally heated caves and abandoned mine tunnels 
(>80° F) as winter roosts (Bell et al. 1986). While 
roosts higher than 80" F may not be difficult to find in 
the desert during summer, caves and mine workings 
with lower temperatures are not used as winter roosts 
(Bradshaw 1962; Dr. Patricia Brown, pers. comm. 
1991 ) and the species cannot tolerate temperatures in 
the 40s or 50s for more than a few hours (AGFD 
1 988). Although maternity roosts are important, winter 
roosts are crucial because they are so uncommon. 
Winter numbers and distribution of Macrotus are 
dictated not only by the availability of suitable winter 
roosts, but also by the quantity, quality and proximity 
of foraging habitat to roost sites. 

No Macrotus were located in any of the historic 
mine workings on the MSA. Furthermore, these 
workings are not geothermally heated. The warmest 
October temperature measured during nearly complete 
surveys of all workings was 64" (range 55 to 64°), too 
cold for Macrotus roost use. While it is possible that 
Macrotus from the desertscrub zone below the MSA 
could forage up to the mine, perhaps using shallower, 
warmer adits as night roosts, evidence contraindicates 
that Macrotus utilize the historic mine workings on site 
as maternity, summer or winter roosts. It is most likely, 
based on available evidence and preliminary data on 
nightly foraging ranges (Brown 1993; Brown et al. 
1993; Dr. Patricia Brown, pers. comm. 1993; 
Thompson 1993), that the MSA is elevationally above 
the range of the California leaf-nosed bat. 

Lesser Long-nosed Bat. Lesser long-nosed bats 
{Leptonycteris) are summer residents in the south- 
central and southeastern parts of Arizona where they 
inhabit desert grasslands and scrubland up to the edge 



3-61 



of the oaks (Hoffmeister 1986). These bats are nectar 
and pollen feeders that forage in areas of saguaro, 
agave, ocotillo, paloverde and prickly pear. 
Leptonycteris roost during the day in mine tunnels and 
caves. Their range does not extend into the MSA and 
pipeline corridors (Fleming and USFWS 1 977). It is 
likely that the MSA and pipeline corridors are 
elevationally above the range of the lesser long-nosed 
bat. No Leptonycteris were located in any of the 
historic mine workings on the MSA and there are no 
records of this species from the local area. 

Cave My otis. Cave myotis inhabit mine shafts, 
tunnels, caves and bridges in deserts containing 
creosote bush, paloverde, brittlebush and cacti of 
southern Arizona (Hoffmeister 1986). According to 
Hoffmeister, their general range overlaps the MSA and 
there is a record of the species from one mile northwest 
of Congress. That location is within the Sonoran 
desertscrub vegetative community, which forms the 
upper elevational distribution of the species' range. 
While this bat inhabits xeric areas, it is never more than 
a few miles from an open water source, such as tanks, 
canals or creeks. Within mine workings, cave myotis 
are usually near the entrance. In winter, this species 
migrates to the southernmost part of Arizona or further 
south. 

No cave myotis were identified during the July 
1992 and October 1991 and 1996 surveys of the 
historic mine workings on the MSA. All portions of 
workings within several hundred feet of each opening 
were surveyed. If even a small cluster of these bats 
was present, it would likely have been detected, either 
visually or, if non-torpid, by their characteristic twitter. 
No historic mine workings occur on or in the vicinity of 
the water supply pipeline corridors that would be 
affected by the proposal. As suggested by Hoffmeister 



(1986), this species probably does not winter in the 
vicinity of the MSA and its summer range probably 
does not extend upward into the chaparral habitat 
characterizing the MSA. 

Yavapai Arizona Pocket Mouse. In the vicinity of 
the MSA, the Yavapai Arizona pocket mouse (a federal 
sensitive species) inhabits Sonoran desertscrub 
(Arizona upland subdivision) (Hoffmeister 1986), the 
lower vegetative community that transitions into the 
chaparral community in which the MSA is located. 
Throughout most of its Arizona distribution, this 
pocket mouse inhabits lower vegetative communities 
than those found in the study area. However, on the 
western edge of Arizona it has been found associated 
with scattered scrub oak (Hoffmeister 1 986), similar to 
habitat on the MSA. This species feeds almost 
exclusively on seeds. 

There have been no trapping surveys conducted, 
which would be required to detect this species. While 
it is possible that this species may occur on site, it is 
likely that, like Macrotus and Leptonycteris. two other 
Sonoran desertscrub species, its distribution only 
extends slightly above the foot of the Weaver 
Mountains and does not overlap the MSA. 

3.3.2.3 Other High Interest Species 

Mule Deer. Mule deer are common residents on the 
MSA. During field surveys, they were most commonly 
associated with the oak shrubland and mountain 
mahogany habitat types where they foraged and 
bedded. Surveys were not timed to detect if fawning 
occurs on the MSA. Some deer hunting probably 
occurs on site. 



3-62 



Collared Peccary. Collared peccary, or javelina, 
are also common on the MSA. The abundance of cacti 
and other forage, seasonal fruits and other mast, cover 
and water sources on the MSA provides high-quality 
habitat. Eleven of 13 historic adits on the MSA are 
known to provide javelina cover, thermal refuge and/or 
water sources. 

Game Birds. Gambel's quail and mourning dove 
were the only game birds detected on the MSA. Both 
species are residents, although the former is 
considerably more common. The abundance of insects, 
berries and seeds within various shrubby habitats 
provides ideal habitat for these species. Quail broods 
were commonly observed during July surveys. Quail 
were using the "Water Adit" as a watering source in 
July. Most hunting on site is oriented toward quail. 

Lagomorphs. Desert cottontail and black-tailed 
jackrabbit were the only lagomorphs detected on site. 
It does not appear that much, if any, hunting is oriented 
toward these species. 

Other Game Species. Black bear and mountain lion 
are other big game species that may occasionally range 
across the MSA. The former species would be 
attracted to the site by seasonal fruit and mast crops 
and for opportunistically captured prey. The latter 
species would be attracted by deer, javelina and other 
prey. There are no bighorn sheep (Oris canadensis) in 
the Weaver Mountains. 

3.3.2.4 Other Wildlife Groups 

Tables 3-9 through 3-11 (shown previously) list 
those amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals detected 
on the MSA during 1 1 field days on October 7 to 10, 
1 99 1 ; July 6 to 9, 1 992; and September 30 to October 



2, 1992. The timing of those surveys was primarily 
oriented toward important periods for bats and desert 
tortoise and secondarily toward discerning use by other 
wildlife species and groups. While specific surveys 
were conducted to develop a complete list of all species 
using the MSA, no small mammal trapping was 
conducted. Because of this and temporal survey 
limitations, tables 3-10 through 3-12 do not represent 
a complete list of all species that might be present. 

Fish. There are no perennial water sources or 
permanent pools on the MSA that could support fish. 
All local creeks, including Fools Gulch and Yarnell, 
Antelope and Indian creeks are intermittent, and the 
MSA is 10 to 20 miles above any perennial creeks. 
BLM biologists searched reaches of Antelope and 
Weaver creeks below the MSA for native fish in 1993 
(T Hughes, BLM, personal communication). No 
native or other fish or permanent pools were located 
during those surveys. 

Amphibians. Desert habitats on the MSA and 
along the water supply and pipeline corridors support 
localized amphibian habitat where springs, seeps and 
intermittent creeks support pools of water for extended 
periods. Both lowland leopard frogs and canyon 
treefrogs were detected, but only the former species 
was detected in the MSA along upper Yarnell Creek. 

Reptiles. The chaparral habitats on the MSA and 
Sonoran desertscrub habitats along the water supply 
corridor support a moderate diversity of reptiles. 
Fifteen species were detected during field surveys, 
including desert tortoise, eight lizards and six snakes 
(Table 3-9). Additional species are probably present. 

Birds. The MSA supports a moderate variety of 
habitats within the chaparral vegetative community. 



3-63 



This habitat diversity is reflected in bird diversity. 
Forty-five bird species were detected on the MSA 
during field surveys in July, September and October. 
The July surveys occurred following or at the end of 
the breeding season when some species may have 
dispersed from the site. September and October 
surveys were conducted toward the end of summer and 
before all winter residents, migrants and transients had 
arrived or moved through the site for winter. As a 
result, the list of birds provided in Table 3-10 is 
incomplete, but does include the most common species 
seasonally present. 

Bats. Because of the historic mine workings, last 
used in 1942, bats were of particular interest to 
resource agencies. July 1992 field surveys were 
oriented toward detecting summer and maternity roosts, 
while October 1991 and 1996 surveys sought winter 
roosts. 

There were 13 open mines/adits on the MSA at the 
time of the surveys with a total of at least 3,786 linear 
feet of tunnels, with individual tunnels ranging from 25 
to more than 2.000 feet. Where intact, tunnels are 
approximately six feet wide and seven feet high. 
Stopes, raises and a few shafts are present in the four 
largest mines. Entrances to many of these mines have 
collapsed, leaving only two-foot high, unsupported 
earthen entrances that will continue deteriorating. 
Most underground workings are intact and would retain 
their integrity and value as bat habitat for many years. 
Most stopes, multi-tunnel intersections and rooms 
within the larger mines have experienced ceiling 
collapses. 

Low numbers of a moderate diversity of bat species 
use the historic mine workings in the winter. Four bat 
species (totaling at least 18 individuals, including the 



fringe-tailed myotis, western pipistrelle, big brown bat 
and Townsend's big-eared bat) were detected during 
October 1991 surveys when most bats should have 
arrived at their winter roosts. Hibernating or torpid 
bats of all species were located in the three largest 
mines with the most stable environmental conditions. 
Because of the extent of mine workings, not all mines 
were surveyed on the same day. Because of survey 
disturbance and normal shifting among roost sites, the 
total number of bats on site could not be precisely 
determined from survey results. Guano piles, prey 
remains and other evidence of bat use that could have 
collected over 50 years in all mines suggests only an 
incidental level of bat use. There were probably no 
more than three to four dozen bats using all mines 
during the October 1 99 1 survey period. October 1 996 
surveys were repeated in the West and Main adits, 
which were the mines most heavily used by bats in 
1991 . These surveys confirmed the previous type and 
level of bat use. 

There was no evidence of maternity colonies in the 
underground mine workings. Three bat species — 
Townsend's big-eared bat, fringe-tailed myotis and big 
brown bat — totaling six individuals, were detected 
during July 1992 surveys after females would have 
congregated at maternity roosts. All six bats handled 
were males, suggesting that these mines represent 
summer bachelor roosts. 

It appears that despite the extensive underground 
workings available to bats for the last 50 years, bat use 
in the Yarnell underground is quite limited. This may 
be partially explained by human disturbance and the 
proximity and visibility of the site from State Highway 
89. While there is evidence of human use in some 
mines, there is no evidence of such use from the four 
larger mines and apparently no relationship between 



3-64 



this evidence and bat use. Similar and less extensive 
abandoned mine complexes are common in the area. It 
is possible that more isolated mines receive heavier use 
or that local mines receive only light use because of 
overall abundant mine roost and natural roost sites. No 
historic mine workings occur on or in the vicinity of the 
water supply corridors that would be affected by the 
proposal. 

Small Mammals. The baseline surveys detected a 
total of nine small mammal species at the MSA (Table 
3-1 1 ). Due to the secretive, nocturnal nature of many 
small mammals, it is likely that a number of additional 
species were undetected. Mountain mahogany and oak 
habitats, which produce abundant seed and berry crops, 
probably support the greatest abundance of small 
mammals, relative to other local habitats. Small 
mammals are ecologically important as herbivores, seed 
dispersers and a prey base for predators. 

Raptors. Red-tailed hawks and golden eagles were 
the only resident raptors detected on the MSA during 
baseline surveys, although other species, including 
Cooper's hawk, American kestrel and prairie falcon, 
are also seasonally present. Turkey vultures were 
common in the area, and other predatory avian species, 
including ravens, greater roadrunners and loggerhead 
shrikes, were also detected. The habitats present on 
site support a moderate diversity of reptilian, avian and 
mammalian prey species. 

Terrestrial Predators. Evidence of coyote, gray 
fox, ringtail, hog-nosed skunk, mountain lion and 
bobcat was recorded at the MSA and along the water 
supply corridor. Predators are primarily nocturnal, 
secretive and difficult to detect. Raccoon, weasel and 
other species of skunk may use the area as well. 
Predator use of the area is dictated by the availability of 



prey and by cover, which is well developed on the 
MSA. 



3.4 AIR RESOURCES 



3.4.1 



CLIMATE 



The climate of the MSA is characterized by low to 
moderate precipitation, dry winds and generally warm 
temperatures. The annual average temperature is 60°F, 
and the area generally receives between 15 and 20 
inches of precipitation each year. The region 
experiences a high percentage of sunshine and low 
humidity. The period from late fall through early 
spring has moderate daytime temperatures and sub- 
freezing temperatures routinely at night. The late 
summer months are typically quite warm with 
occasional thunderstorms. A mountainous region, 
oriented southeast to northwest, separates the state into 
a higher elevation plateau in the northeast and a lower, 
desert-like region in the southwest. The MSA 
(elevation 4,870 feet MSL) is at the edge of the 
mountainous region, resulting in highly localized 
climatic conditions. 

3.4.1.1 Distinguishing Characteristics of the 
Region 

From November through March, storm systems 
from the Pacific move across Arizona. These systems 
can bring snow to the Yarnell area. Summer rainfall 
begins in early July and can last until mid-September. 
April, May and June are the months with the greatest 
number of clear days, while December through 
February, July and August are the cloudiest. The 
humidity is generally low. with the higher values 
occurring during the late-summer thunderstorm season. 



3-65 



Cold air masses from the north sometimes penetrate 
into the region, bringing substantially colder 
temperatures. Large extremes occur regularly between 
day and night temperatures. This diurnal pattern is 
strongest during the drier months when the daily range 
(maximum-minimum temperature) may reach 50° F. 
Winds generally come from the south, typical in the 
Southwestern U.S., and average a moderate 10 mph 
[4.5 meters per second (m/s)]. During the evening, 
winds can switch direction and routinely come out of 
the north. 

3.4.1.2 Project Monitoring Stations 

A meteorological monitoring program was 
conducted at the proposed Yarnell site by Air Sciences 
Inc. from September 1 , 1 992, through August 31,1 993, 
in accordance with an Arizona Department of 
Environmental Quality (ADEQ)-approved Air 
Monitoring Protocol. The purpose of this monitoring 
program was to collect one year of site-specific 
meteorological data that would support an accurate and 
representative Air Quality analysis for the proposed 
project. Although the proposed project is not 
categorized as a major source for EPA's Prevention of 
Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting purposes, 
on-site monitoring was conducted following PSD 
guidance that recommends one year of on-site 
meteorological data be collected for air quality analysis 
and permitting purposes. Data recovery levels exceed 
acceptable levels such that the Yarnell meteorological 
data are useful for predicting the locations where 
maximum air quality impacts are likely to occur due to 
atmospheric dispersion and emissions associated with 
the proposed project. The results of the one-year 
monitoring program were documented in a report dated 
September 1993. 



The location of the meteorological monitoring 
station is shown in Figure 3-15. The monitoring station 
is in the northwest corner of the property (3,786.5 km 
N., 338.6 km E.) at an elevation of approximately 4,870 
feet MSL. The station consisted of a 10-meter tower 
with temperature, wind speed, wind direction and 
directional deviation data measured. 

The following discussions of the site's baseline 
meteorological conditions use the data collected from 
this station and long-term data obtained from the 
nearest reporting stations in reasonably comparable 
surroundings at Walnut Grove (3,764 feet MSL) 12 
miles to the northeast (precipitation data only) and 
Prescott (5.510 feet MSL) 35 miles to the northeast. 

3.4.1.3 Temperature 

The mean annual temperature recorded at the 
monitoring station was 59.4° F. The highest monthly 
average daily maximum temperature of 85.7° F 
occurred in July, while the lowest monthly average 
daily minimum temperature of 31.8° F occurred in 
December. Table 3-13 compares the mean monthly 
temperature data collected at the Yarnell Station to 
long-term ( 1 95 1 to 1 980) data from the Prescott station. 
Monthly temperatures are generally similar between the 
two sites, although Yarnell does not record monthly 
minimum temperatures as low as Prescott does. The 
observed differences are most likely attributable to the 
higher elevation in Prescott. 

3.4.1.4 Precipitation 

Table 3-14 presents monthly average precipitation 
data for the Prescott (1951 to 1980), Walnut Grove 
(1961 to 1990) and Yarnell Hill (1981 to 1996) 
monitoring sites. These data suggest that the project 



3-66 



TABLE 3-13 

Mean Monthly Temperature Summary (°F) for the Mine Site Study Area 

and Prescott Stations 



Stations 


Yarnell 


Prescott 


Yarnell 


Prescott 


Yarnell 


Prescott 


Month 


Monthly 
Average 


Monthly 
Average 


Monthly 
Maximum 


Monthly 

Maximum 


Monthly 

Minimum 


Monthly 

Minimum 


January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September 

October 

November 

December 


43 
42.1 
50.9 
58.8 
66.6 
74.3 
76.5 
75.7 
73.6 
64 
46 
38.8 


36.2 
39.2 
42.8 
49.4 
57.2 
66.8 
73.1 
70.4 
65.1 
55 
44 
37.2 


49.6 
49.3 
60.5 
68.4 
76.3 
83.9 
85.7 
84.5 
82.6 
74.2 
57.4 
48.3 


50.3 
54.1 
57.7 
65.4 
74 
84.7 
88.7 
85.2 
81.5 
71.9 
59.5 
51.8 


36.9 
35.8 
41.6 
48.2 
55.3 
62.9 
66.9 
67.1 
64.5 
56.2 
37.5 
31.8 


22! 
24.2 
28 
33.3 
40.3 
48.8 
57.5 
55.6 
48.6 
38.1 
28.4 
22 5 


Annual 


59.4 


53 


85.7 


88.7 


31.8 


22.1 



Source: Air Sciences lnc (1993) and NOAA (1985) 

TABLE 3-14 
Monthly Precipitation Averages for Prescott, Walnut Grove and Yarnell Hill (inches) 



Month 


Prescott 


Walnut Grove 


Yarnell Hill 


January 


1.72 


1.52 


1 ">5 


February 


1.51 


1.81 


2.20 


March 


1.53 


1.93 


2.34 


April 


0.76 


0.80 


0.55 


May 


0.50 


0.39 


0.33 


June 


0.53 


0.31 


0.09 


July 


3.15 


2.19 


1.06 


August 


3.45 


2.61 


1.71 


September 


1.49 


1.59 


1.18 


October 


1.22 


0.96 


0.36 


November 


1.33 


1.61 


1.20 


December 


1.65 


1.70 


1.73 


Annual 


18.84 


17.42 


15.(10 



Source: NOAA ( 1 985 ), ASU ( 1 996 ) and Maricopa County Flood Control District (1977) 



3-67 





3-68 



site receives approximately 15 to 20 inches of 
precipitation each year. The winter months of 
December through March receive much of the annual 
precipitation at all three locations. In 1 993, the Yarnell 
Hill Station recorded a total of 17.7 inches of 
precipitation for the months of January and February. 
In addition, July and August are wet months as 
moisture is swept in from the Gulf of Mexico, and 
convective heating of the moisture-laden air leads to 
lifting and thunderstorms along the mountains. April, 
May and June are typically dry. Snowfall totals vary 
with elevation and can be extremely localized. Snow- 
fall occurs throughout the winter months at Prescott, 
with an annual total of 24.1 inches. No snowfall data 
are available for the Walnut Grove or Yarnell Hill 
stations. 

3.4.1.5 Severe Storm Precipitation Extremes 

The 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-year expected maximum 
24-hour precipitation event totals are presented in 
Table 3-15. These data indicate that a substantial 
portion (15 to 30 percent) of the annual precipitation 
total can occur in a single one-day event. 



3.4.1.6 Evaporation 

No on-site evaporation data was collected, but 
according to available evaporation-rate maps, the 
Yarnell area averages approximately 60 inches of total 
evaporation each year (NOAA 1982). Not surprisingly, 
the bulk of this evaporation (40 inches) occurs during 
May through October, when temperatures are warmest. 

3.4.1.7 Winds 

Wind data was collected at the Yarnell Station from 
September 1 , 1 992 through August 31,1 993. The wind 
speed and direction data are presented graphically as a 
wind rose in Figure 3-16. During the data collection 
period, the mean annual wind speed was 9.8 mph (4.4 
m/s). The winds blow predominantly from the south- 
southeast through the southwest directions. These 
winds account for 50 percent of the total winds and 
averaged 10.3 mph (4.6 m/s). A secondary wind peak 
from the north to north-northwest accounted for 23.4 
percent of the total winds. These winds averaged 11.1 
mph (5.0 m/s). The strongest winds were principally 
out of the northern sector. 



TABLE 3-15 
Estimates for 10-, 25-, 50- and 
100- Year Precipitation Events 



Event 


24-Hour Precipitation 
(inches) 


10-Year 


3.2 


25-Year 


3.8 


50-Year 


4.2 


100-Year 


4 8 



Source: NOAA (1973) 



Seasonal wind roses are exhibited in Figure 3-17. 
During the spring (March through May), winds were 
predominantly from both the north and southwest to 
south-southwest sectors, while during the summer 
(June through August), over 62 percent of the winds 
originated from the south-southeast through southwest. 
The southerly winds (southwest through south- 
southeast) still occurred frequently during the fall 
(September through November), but the northerly 
winds increased in frequency to become the singlemost 
prevalent sector. The winter (December through 
February) wind rose shows a directional distribution 
that closely matches the annual wind rose: however, the 



3-69 



WNW 



WSW 



ENE 




LEGEND 



< 3 m/s 



> 3 m/s 



CALMS ARE WINDS WITH 
SPEEDS LESS THAN 0.447 m/s 

SHOWN AS DIRECTION FROM WHICH WIND IS BLOWING 



AVERAGE WIND SPEED = 4.4 m/s 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 



FIGURE 3-16 

WIND FREQUENCY 
DISTRIBUTION 

SEPTEMBER 1992- 
AUGUST 1993 



3-70 





AVTRAOr WIND SPEED = 4.7 m/s 
SEPTEMBFR 1992 - NOVEMBER 1992 




AVERAGE WIND SPEED 
MARCH 1993 - MA 



AVERAGE WIND SPEED - 4.3 m 
JUNE 1993 - AUGUST 1993 



CALMS ARE WINDS WITH 
SPEEDS LESS THAN 0.447 m/s 

SHOWN AS DIRECTION FROM WHICH WIND IS BLOWING 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTY. ARIZONA 



FIGURE 3-17 

SEASONAL WIND ROSE 



3-7 1 



northerly winds increased in speed and matched winds 
from the south-southeast sector as the predominant 
winds. 

Wind speeds were very consistent throughout the 
year (each month averages about 10 mph [4.5 m/s]), 
although the late fall and winter months of November 
through February have the highest average wind 
speeds. Also, highest maximum wind speeds generally 
occur during these same months. In addition, 59 
percent of the maximum wind speeds recorded during 
the monitoring year occurred between 1 1 a.m. and 5 
p.m. The highest wind speed recorded during the 
monitoring year was 54 mph (24.1 m/s) the night of 
February 19, 1993. 

3.4.1.8 Wind Stability 

Stability is a measure of air turbulence and the 
dispersion potential of the atmosphere. It is related to 
radiative energy flux at the surface, wind speed and 
surface roughness. Six stability classes have been 
defined and range from A (the most unstable) to F (the 
most stable). Stable air mixes the least and is the most 
stratified, as evidenced by little mixing or dispersion of 
air emissions and a noticeable layering of visible 
emissions. Stability class D is neutral, which is 
normally associated with strong winds and moderate 
turbulence. 

The majority of the winds (more than 59 percent) at 
the MSA fall into the neutral or D stability class. 
Approximately 27 percent of the winds fall into the 
most stable classes (E and F). During these stable 
conditions, winds prevail from the north-northwest 
through the north with a secondary peak from the 
southeast through the south. 



3.4.1.9 Dispersion Conditions 

The wind speed, direction and stability data indicate 
how pollutants would disperse from the project site. 
Wind direction determines where the pollutants would 
travel. Wind speed and stability determine the degree 
of dilution that would occur with downwind distance. 
These factors help determine the dispersion potential of 
emissions from the project site. 

Dispersion is directly related to wind speed. 
Doubling the speed doubles the dispersion potential 
and halves downwind pollutant concentrations. 
Stability also plays an important role in determining 
local dispersion potential. More stable conditions 
result in poorer dispersion. Based on the wind data 
collected at the MSA, the maximum downwind 
pollutant impacts would be expected along the northern 
and southern boundaries of the project site. The 
poorest dispersion conditions exist with winds from the 
north approximately 1 percent of the time and with 
winds from the southeast to south approximately eight 
percent of the time. These conditions would produce 
the highest downwind impacts due to emissions from 
surface level sources at the MSA. 

Atmospheric stability plays a key role in 
determining local dispersion potential. With increasing 
stability, dispersion characteristics are reduced. During 
the monitoring period, the highest frequency of stable 
conditions was from the north to north-northwest. 
Winds occurred from these directions 23.4 percent of 
the time. Although winds from the north were 
generally at or above the overall mean wind speed, the 
north-northwesterly winds were usually less than the 
overall mean wind speed. In addition, stable conditions 
occurred with winds from the south through southeast 
(8.2 percent of the time). 



3-72 



3.4.2 AIR QUALITY 

Air quality is frequently evaluated in terms of 
concentrations of the six federally defined criteria 
pollutants. These criteria pollutants are: particulates 
less than 10 microns (PM 10 ), carbon monoxide (CO), 
ozone (0 3 ), sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ), nitrogen dioxide 
(NO : ) and lead (Pb). Health-based standards for 
ambient concentrations of these pollutants (National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards or NAAQS) have been 
defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) and adopted by the state of Arizona. Yavapai 
County has been classified as an attainment (or 
unclassifiable) for all pollutants. The standards are 
presented in Table 3-16. 



human-caused sources of air pollution in the vicinity 
of the MSA. Phoenix (approximately 60 miles to the 
southeast) is the closest major metropolitan area. 
Phoenix is a potential source of significant quantities of 
process and non-process (mobile) emissions, including 
carbon monoxide, ozone and particulate matter (PM 10 ). 
Southerly winds can bring some of these urban airshed 
pollutants to the north and impact the ambient air 
quality and visibility at the MSA. However, because of 
the distance and mountainous terrain separating 
Phoenix and the MSA, emission sources in Phoenix 
would rarely contribute significantly to ambient 
pollution levels near the site. 

3.4.2.1 Air Quality Monitoring Program 



In general, the terrain surrounding the MSA should 
minimize air pollution impacts caused by nearby or 
regional sources of air pollution at or near the site. 
Vehicle traffic on State Highway 89, exploration and 
recreational activities in the surrounding region, along 
with agricultural and other activities associated with the 
nearby town of Yarnell. all contribute to the baseline 
air quality of the Yarnell area. There are no significant 



Two samplers capable of sampling particulates less 
than 1 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM,,,) were 
operated at the MSA from September 3, 1992 to 
August 29, 1993 to establish baseline condition levels. 
The primary sampler operated for a 24-hour period 
every third day on the EPA sampling schedule, while 
the collocated or precision sampler operated every sixth 
day. The PM„, samplers were at the same location as 



TABLE 3-16 
National and Arizona Ambient Air Quality Standards 



Pollutant 


Averaging Period 


National Standards 


PM 10 


24-hour 
annual 


150ug/m 3(I) 
50ug/m 3(1) 


Carbon monoxide 


1-hour 
8-hour 


40.000 ug/nr (2 ' 
10,000 ug/m 3(2) 


Ozone 


1 -hour 


0.1 2 ppm or 235 ug/nr (2 ' 


Sulfur dioxide 


3-hour 
24-hour 
annual 


1.300 ug/m 3l2) 

365 ug/m 3(2) 

80 ug/m 3 


Nitrogen dioxide 


annual 


100 ug/nr 


1 .cad 


quarterly 


1.5 ug/nr 



Source: 40 CFR 50.4- 1 2 

' ' Not to exceed an average of once per year over three or more representative years of data. 
(-1 Not to be exceeded more than once per year. 



3-73 



the meteorological tower, in the northwest corner of the 
MSA (see Figure 3-15), and were operated according 
to an ADEQ-approved Air Monitoring Protocol (Air 
Sciences Inc., September 1992). 

3.4.2.2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration 
Classification 

The EPA has established a classification system for 
the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) of air 
quality. This system applies to areas in attainment of 
the NAAQS. Areas are categorized as Class I. Class II 
or Class III. Class I areas are typically areas with 
pristine air quality, such as national parks, national 
monuments or wildernesses. All other areas in the 
country are designated as Class II. No areas in the U.S. 
have been designated as Class III. The MSA is 
designated as a Class D area. The nearest Class I area 
is the Pine Mountain Wilderness, approximately 40 
miles east of the MSA in the Prescott National Forest. 



3.4.2.3 Measured Particulate Concentrations 

The on-site particulate data collected during the 
1 992- 1 993 sampling program are summarized in Table 
3-17. The maximum 24-hour PM 1(1 concentration was 
28 ^g/m , and occurred on August 2, 1993. 
Approximately 50 percent of the valid PM UI samples 
(57 of 1 17 samples) were below 10 ug/m' . Less than 
two percent of the samples (two of 1 1 7 samples) were 
greater than 25 ug/m" . The average PM, (I concentration 
of 10.2 ug/m for the monitoring period indicates the 
baseline annual average concentration would be well 
below the annual NAAQS (50 ug/m 3 ). This 
background level of PM 10 is comparable to the 
concentrations measured at other sampling stations in 
similar surroundings (ADEQ 1995). 

The background concentration of PM I0 for the MSA 
is assumed to be the average PM 1(I concentration for the 
monitoring period. Acceptable data recovery levels, 
the duration and frequency of the particulate sampling 



TABLE 3-17 

PM 10 Monitoring Summary for the Mine Site Study Area 

(September 1992 - August 1993) 



Month 


#of 
Samples 


Average 

(ug/m 3 ) 


First Maximum 

(ug/m 3 ) 


Second Maximum 
(ug/m 3 ) 


Number of 

Measured 

Exceedances 


January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September 

October 

November 

December 


8 
9 
10 
10 
11 
10 
10 
10 
10 
9 
10 
10 


4 
4 
8 

12 
14 
11 
11 
13 
15 
15 
7 
5 


8 
6 
19 
19 
27 
18 
16 
28 
23 
21 
14 
9 


7 
5 

10 
17 
22 
15 
13 
17 
20 
20 
11 
8 
















Annual 


117 


10.2 


28 


27 






Source: ASK1993) 



3-74 



program and the fact that the baseline monitoring 
program met the guidance found in EPA's Ambient 
Monitoring Guidelines for Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration add credibility to this assumption. The 
Yarnell baseline PM 10 data exhibit typical PM 1(I levels 
for rural areas where baseline concentrations generally 
attain average values under low dispersion conditions 
and maximum value under high dispersion conditions. 



cyanide (HCN) in R18-2-730(J), Standards of 
Performance for Unclassified Sources. This standard 
limits concentrations of HCN to 0.3 parts per million 
by volume (ppmv) over an eight-hour averaging period. 
No background air toxin data are available for the 
Yarnell area; however, background concentrations of 
air toxins would be expected to be negligible due to the 
MSA's distance from any known source of air toxins. 



3.4.2.4 Other NAAQS Pollutant Concentrations 



3.4.2.6 Visibility 



On-site measurements of background NO : . CO and 
S0 2 concentrations have not been collected. These 
concentrations are probably best represented by using 
typical values for rural areas of Arizona. The Class II 
permit application submitted to ADEQ in April 1996 
incorporated the following baseline concentrations: 
NO, - 6.0 ug/m- (annual); CO - 2280 |jg/m 3 (one-hour 
and eight-hour); S0 2 - 875 ug/W (three-hour), 144 
pg/m' (24-hour) and 10 pg/nr 1 (annual). No O, or Pb 
measurements have been collected in the area. 
However, second highest one-hour maximum O, 
concentrations range from 0.08 to 0.10 ppm at 
monitoring locations throughout Arizona (ADEQ 
1995). Given the low levels of particulate matter in the 
ambient air in the Yarnell area, background Pb levels 
would be expected to be similarly low. 

3.4.2.5 Air Toxins 

In addition to the standards set for criteria 
pollutants. ADEQ has established Ambient Air Quality 
Guidelines (AQGs) for a large number of toxins. The 
AQGs have been established to protect human health. 
An applicable AQG exists for mercury (Hg). This 
standard limits mercury concentrations to 1.5 pg/m' 
(one-hour average) and 0.4 pg/m 3 (24-hour average). 
Also, a state ambient standard exists for hydrogen 



The federal Clean Air Act PSD regulations mandate 
that federal land managers protect visibility resources 
and other air quality related values (AQRVs) within 
areas considered to have pristine air quality (Class I 
areas). Visibility, as an AQRV, can be defined as the 
degree to which ambient air pollutants obscure a 
person's ability to see a given reference point through 
the atmosphere. The more a reference point is 
obscured, the poorer the visibility. The federal 
government has chosen to protect visibility in Class I 
areas because vistas are a highly valued aspect of the 
experience of visiting pristine and scenic areas, such as 
national parks, monuments and wildernesses. The 
nearest Class I area to the MSA is the Pine Mountain 
Wilderness, approximately 40 miles east of the MSA in 
the Prescott National Forest. No formal visibility 
monitoring has been conducted near the MSA. 
However, it is apparent that haze in the vicinity of the 
site can cause degradation in the visual range. These 
conditions are most likely attributable to the 
atmospheric transport of the urban plume from the 
Phoenix metropolitan area. 



3-75 



3.5.1 



3.5 LAND USE 



LAND OWNERSHIP 



Yavapai County consists of 8,091 square miles or 
5,178,000 acres. About 50 percent of this area is 
managed by the federal government. The largest 
portion of federal land is managed by the U.S. Forest 
Service, which administers land within the Prescott, 
Coconino and Tonto national forests. The state of 
Arizona administers about 27 percent of the county, 
leaving about 23 percent of land in private ownership. 
The BLM administers approximately nine percent of 
county land, and less than one percent of the county 
consists of Yavapai tribal land. Ownership of land in 
the MSA is discussed in Section 1.3. 



3.5.2 



LAND USES 



and tailings piles) and recent mining exploration 
activities (e.g., roads) are clearly evident on the MSA. 

The proposed mining area, including the water 
supply system, is within a single grazing allotment, 
Congress (03019). The MSA includes the 
northernmost portion of this allotment, which 
encompasses 47,000 acres [about 20,500 federal 
(BLM) acres and about 26.500 state and private acres] 
surrounding Congress. Total animal unit months 
(AUMs) are 7,368; federal AUMs are 3,242. There is 
no formal allotment management plan and grazing is 
year-round. Range improvements include one 
stockpond, Tom Cat Tank, within the proposed mining 
area. The spring-fed pond, Cottonwood Spring, in the 
Yarnell Creek drainage also serves as a water source 
for cattle. A dam and trough, constructed at the spring 
in the past, are now in disrepair. 



Rural areas in Yavapai County have not been 
developed or used intensively either because they have 
not been needed for urban development or because they 
are unsuitable for urban development or agriculture due 
to topographic conditions, geology and soil conditions 
or inadequate water resources. They are mostly used 
for rangeland, grazing, recreation, wildlife habitat and 
other open space purposes. 

The historic and current land uses on and adjacent 
to the MSA include mining, grazing, wildlife habitat, 
open space and recreation. Additionally, a small 
portion of land is used for microwave communications 
towers. 

As discussed in Chapter 1, mining has been a 
traditional land use, most intensive prior to 1942. 
Disturbances from historic mining activities (e.g., roads 



The area does not receive heavy recreational use. 
While there are no specifically designated recreation 
sites on or adjacent to the Yarnell property, dispersed 
recreational activities include hiking, sightseeing, 
rockhounding, hunting and off-highway vehicle use. 
Launch sites for hang gliding are accessed via roads in 
the southern part of the MSA. Wildlife use of the 
MSA is discussed in the Wildlife section of this 
chapter. 

There are two microwave communications towers 
on the project site. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe 
(BNSF) tower is approximately 60 feet tall. The BNSF 
facilities, including the tower and a communications 
building, are on a 1.72-acre parcel. The Maricopa 
County tower is approximately 80 feet tall, with 
facilities (including the tower and a communications 
building) on a 0.12-acre parcel. 



3-76 



The water supply pipeline corridors were shown 
previously in Figure 2-9. The pipeline would be within 
and adjacent to many types of land uses including open 
space, wildlife habitat, historic mining, grazing, 
commercial and roadways. The proposed routes cross 
private, federal and state land. 

3.5.2.1 Bureau of Land Management Planning/ 
Land Use Considerations 

The proposed action would be in what was formerly 
the BLM's Lower Gila North Management Area. The 
BLM conducted a planning process in 1981 and 
developed a management framework plan (MFP) to 
formulate management goals and objectives for the 
area. Mineral resource development on the site of the 
proposed Yarnell Project would be in conformance 
with the MFP. MFP recommendation M-2.1 states that 
the area should be left open for potential mineral 
exploration and development. 

3.5.2.2 Yavapai County Land Use Planning/Land 
Use Considerations 

A General Development Plan for Yavapai County 
was prepared in 1975, as a policy statement for future 
development (Ferguson, Morris & Associates 1975). 
It was not written as a regulatory document and is not, 
therefore, a zoning plan. Instead, it depicts the general 
pattern of proposed land uses, both for the county and 
selected communities. 

Ten communities including Yarnell were selected 
for more detailed planning beyond general county 
planning. Each community plan was presented to 
members of the communities at public meetings. 
Suggestions from the public were solicited and 



incorporated into the community plans. The Yarnell 
community plan states the following. 

4 "Yarnell is a community of single-family 
residences. A more recent land activity has 
been the occurrence of mobile homes on 
individual lots. The population is mostly 
retirees. 

t Commercial uses are located along State 
Highway 89. These uses include retail trade 
establishments catering to the local market, and 
highway oriented commerce catering to through 
traffic on State Highway 89. The public uses 
include the elementary school, fire station, 
community hall and parks, and the spiritually 
sculptured shrines on Shrine Road. 

f Yarnell offers limited employment opportunities. 
The few industrial uses in the community are 
service type concerns which require only a few 
persons for their operation. Other economic 
interests in the area include cattle ranching, and 
several small producing mines. 

f This pleasant community has opportunities for 
growth at a more leisurely pace than would be 
true for many other communities in Yavapai 
County. It will attract growth related to 
retirement living and is capable of providing 
homesites for people seeking the quietness of a 
country atmosphere. 

4 Residential uses of all rspes are indicated on the 
Yarnell Community Plan. The predominant 
residential type will be single family residential 
on small lots in the already subdivided areas of 
the community, and on larger lots, generally 
exceeding 10,000 square feet in size, in areas on 
the perimeter of the community. The Plan 
indicates areas of existing individual mobile 
homes/modular housing. Areas for mobile 



3-77 



home/travel trailer parks and multiple 
family residential are recommended next to 
existing commercial areas. 

# The existing commercial area is on both sides of 
State Highway 89. The Plan recommends that 
commercial uses be confined to this area, and 
that it not be allowed to intrude into established 
residential areas. 

# An area for industry is shown on State Highway 
89 at the north end of the community. Industry 
attracted to this area will be based upon the 
local needs of Yarnell and ranching needs of 
ranchers in Peeples Valley. 

4 The Yarnell Community Plan indicates a 
complete system of major streets and highways 
to provide for vehicular movement to all parts 
of the community. State Highway 89 functions 
as the main traffic arterial through the 
community. 

4 The Plan retains the elementary school in its 
present location. A large growth in the school 
population is not expected to occur since 
Yarnell is presently dominated by a retirement 
population. 

4 A community park is indicated on Oak Way, 
opposite Shrine of Saint Joseph of the 
Mountain, a major attraction in the community. 
Neighborhood parks are indicated next to the 
elementary school and at the location of an 
existing park on Walnut Way. Areas of peak 
elevation, steep slopes and rugged topography 
are recommended to be retained as open space 
since the attractiveness of these areas in their 
present natural condition enhance the general 
attractiveness of the community. 

# The Plan indicates the present location of the 
community center and fire station on State 



Highway 89. A police station is proposed next 
to these facilities. " 

The MSA is indicated within the community plan as 
an area of scenic reserve. However, as noted above, 
the Yavapai County General Development Plan is a 
planning tool only; it has no regulatory force. Arizona 
Revised Statutes (1 1-830. A2) provides that: 

"Nothing contained in any ordinance by this 
chapter shall: prevent, restrict or otherwise 
regulate the use or occupation of land or 
improvements for railroad, mining, 
metallurgical, grazing or general agricultural 
purpose, if the tract concerned is five (5) or 
more contiguous commercial acres. " 

Additionally, an exemption has been established for 
mining/metallurgical land uses within the Yavapai 
County Planning and Zoning Ordinance. Therefore, a 
"mining or metallurgical property," such as the 
proposed Yarnell Project, would be exempt from any 
land use or zoning considerations in Yavapai County. 



3.6 VISUAL RESOURCES 

The MSA is adjacent to State Highway 89 and near 
businesses and residences in the Yarnell/Glen Ilah area. 
If developed, the project would be seen by persons 
traveling on State Highway 89 and by residents of and 
visitors to the Yarnell area. Currently, Yarnell Hill (the 
location of the mine pit) and adjacent areas which 
would be affected by mine/processing facilities are 
generally open space with vegetative cover 
characterized by shrubby vegetation types. The 
existing roads, the two microwave communication 
towers, historic mine excavations, tailings and 



3-78 



buildings on Yarnell Hill also contrast with this 
existing vegetative cover and are noticeable visual 
intrusions. 

The viewshed from Glen Ilah looking toward the 
proposed project site includes a church and a few 
businesses including a restaurant and a gas station. All 
Glen Ilah residences and businesses are to the west and 
northwest of the proposed mine. The majority of Glen 
Ilah residences are more than a quarter-mile and less 
than a mile from the mine pit area and the north waste 
rock dump, which would be the closest project 
facilities. There are about 100 residences in Glen Ilah, 
many of which would have a view of the Yarnell 
Project pit. Views of the mine site from some Glen 
Ilah residences would be blocked by ridges and small 
hills. A ridge of Antelope Peak blocks the view of the 
mine site from the rest of the Yarnell community. 
There are no special scenic highway designations or 
visual protection policies affecting views from State 
Highway 89 in the project vicinity. 

3.6.1 VISUAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 

SYSTEM 

The BLM uses a visual resource management 
system (VRMS) to evaluate the potential visual effects 
of an action upon existing visual resources. The 
VRMS recognizes that public land have a variety of 
visual values, warranting different levels of 
management. The system is oriented toward the 
systematic identification and evaluation of these values 
to determine the appropriate level of management. The 
VRMS is used as a guide to ensure that every attempt 
is made to minimize potential visual impacts. The 
basic philosophy underlying the system is described in 
the Visual Resource Contrast Rating Handbook (BLM 
1986) as: 



The degree to which a management activity affects 
the visual quality of a landscape depends on the 
visual contrast created between a project and the 
existing landscape. The contrast can be measured 
by comparing the project features with the major 
features in the existing landscape. The basic design 
elements of form, line, color, and texture are used 
to make this comparison and to describe the visual 
contrast created by the project. 

The first step in the VRMS is the identification of 
the visual values of affected land. Land can be 
classified into one of four classes with general visual 
value management objectives. These classes range 
from Class I (preservation of the existing character of 
the landscape) to Class IV (allowing major 
modification of the existing character of the landscape). 

Visual value objectives for the MSA were identified 
through a VRM inventory process and considered with 
other resource values in the Lower Gila North planning 
process. Visual management objectives were 
established in the MFP in conformance with the land 
use allocations made in the plan. Potentially affected 
land in the MSA were classified as Class III land. 
According to the Visual Resource Contrast Rating 
Handbook, this classification of land has the following 
visual objective. 

The objective of this class is to partially retain the 
existing character of the landscape. The level of 
change to the characteristic landscape should be 
moderate. Management activities may attract 
attention but should not dominate the view of the 
casual observer. Changes should repeat the basic 
elements found in the predominant natural features 
of the characteristic landscape. 



3-79 



3.6.2 KEY OBSERVATION POINTS 

The next step in the VRMS process is the 
identification of key observation points (KOPs) relating 
to a proposed development or land use. This step 
recognizes that contrast rating needs to be performed 
from the most critical viewpoints. This is usually along 
commonly traveled routes or from other sites which 
include consideration of distance, the angle of 
observation, number of potential viewers, length of 
time the project is in view, relative project size, season 
of use and light conditions. These factors were 
considered in selecting the KOPs for the Yarnell 
Project. Seven KOPs (see Figure 3-18) were selected 
as follows, based on one or more of the above criteria, 
particularly distance and the number of potential 
viewers. 

♦ KOP 1 : A distant view (about eight miles) of 
the MSA from the north end of the community 
of Congress on State Highway 89. 

♦ KOP 2: A view of the MSA from State 
Highway 89 going north toward Yarnell. 

♦ KOP 3: A view of the proposed site looking 
southeast from State Highway 89 near Mina 
Road and St. Mary's Church. 

♦ KOP 4: A view of the MSA from the 
intersection of Foothills and Lakewood in Glen 
Ilah, representative of the view from about 1 
homes and a major access street in the 
community. 

♦ KOP 5: A view of the proposed site from Mina 
Road, viewing the mine pit and north waste rock 
dump from the "side" of the proposed mine site. 

♦ KOP 6: A view of the MSA from a residence 
northwest of the site. 

♦ KOP 7: A view of the MSA from a residence 
directly across State Highway 89. 



After KOPs have been established, visual 
simulations are prepared to evaluate the potential 
effects of a proposed project. Simulations are 
important to portray the relative scale, extent and 
contrast of a project upon the existing environment. 
Simulations of views of the proposed project from the 
seven KOPs are presented in Appendix I and discussed 
in Chapter 4 of this EIS. 

With visual simulations available, contrast ratings 
can be performed. The contrast rating process is a 
systematic analysis of the contrasts of form, line, color 
and texture created by the proposed action. This 
analysis is summarized on a standard BLM form and 
makes a determination whether a project would 
conform with the approved VRM objectives. The 
contrast rating system also provides a means to identify 
mitigation measures that can be taken to minimize 
adverse visual impacts. The results of visual contrast 
ratings prepared for the proposed project from each 
KOP are discussed in Chapter 4 of this EIS. 



3.7 CULTURAL RESOURCES 

Cultural resources are defined as remains of human 
activity or occupation more than 50 years old. They 
may consist of sites, structures, ruins, manufactured 
objects (artifacts) or landscape modifications. Cultural 
resources may also include sites or locations of 
traditional cultural importance to Native Americans or 
other groups. Cultural resources are often classified as 
prehistoric or historic. Prehistoric resources were 
created by Native American use of the region prior to 
European contact. Native American utilization of the 
region after European contact and European/ American 
exploration and settlement are considered historic. The 
primary human impact on the MSA has been from 



3-80 



mining, an activity that occurred during the historic 
period. 



and the Bradshaw Mountains provide an outline of the 
cultural historical sequence (Stone 1986). 



The MSA has heen subject to two intensive 
archaeological inventories designed to locate and 
evaluate resources in terms of National Register of 
Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility criteria. The 
inventories were designed to comply with BLM and 
state of Arizona permits and standards for conducting 
archaeological inventories. The first inventory, 
conducted in 1995 (Hoefer et al. 1996a), covered 400 
acres in and near the MSA and an additional 237 acres 
for water supply system alternatives. A second 
inventory for the revised water supply system covered 
65 acres (Hoefer et al. 1996b). In summary. 702 acres 
were surveyed in the area of potential effect. An 
additional 57 acres were not surveyed due to extremely 
steep slopes with dense vegetation, primarily on the 
eastern face of Yarnell Hill. 

As part of the BLM's Native American consultation 
responsibilities, copies of the two archaeological 
survey reports were provided to the Yavapai and Hopi 
tribes. These tribes, which either occupied the area 
historically or expressed a possible affiliation with 
prehistoric groups, are listed in Chapter 8. In response 
to the tribe's request, the BLM conducted a field tour 
for representatives of the Yavapai -Prescott tribe. 

3.7.1 CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE 

PROJECT STUDY AREA 

3.7.1.1 Native A m erican 

The cultural history of the Yarnell area has not been 
studied to any great degree, but archaeological 
investigations in the Prescott and Wickenburg areas 



Prior to about A.D. 1, the region was occupied by 
Archaic people who subsisted primarily on wild plants 
and game. Between A.D. 1 to 800, the appearance of 
pithouse villages, pottery and farming marks a shift 
from mobile hunting and gathering to more permanent 
settlement in small villages. Groups relied on both 
wild and cultivated foods. Later prehistoric sites in the 
region have been attributed to both the Hohokam 
tradition, centered in the Salt and Gila river basins to 
the south, and the Prescott Branch, centered in the 
present-day Prescott area. The relationship between the 
two cultural traditions is unclear. Villages apparently 
associated with both traditions existed north of the 
MSA in Peeples Valley, where agricultural land was 
abundant. 

Most prehistoric sites were abandoned by A.D. 
1 300. and a break occurs in the archaeological record. 
After about A.D. 1 600, the Yavapai, whose connection 
to the earlier inhabitants is unclear, become 
recognizable in historic records. Like the early Archaic 
groups, the Yavapai did not construct permanent 
villages, but moved seasonally to harvest wild 
resources. They practiced agriculture on a more limited 
basis than the Hohokam or the Prescott Branch. 
Known Yavapai sites in the area surrounding the 
proposed mine are rare, although the Yavapai inhabited 
the Yarnell and Congress areas. The Yavapai were 
moved to reservations in 1873. However, some 
families either stayed or returned to live along Antelope 
Creek and in Peeples Valley in the late 1 800s. 

According to local historical accounts, Yavapai 
workers assisted Charles Genung. a local pioneer, in 
constructing a road from Peeples Valley to Wickenburg 



3-83 



sometime after 1870. During the 1890s, several 
Yavapai families may have resided on the Genung 
ranch in Peeples Valley. 

3.7.1.2 Euro-American 

The historic period hegins with Spanish incursions 
in the late 1 500s into what would become the state of 
Arizona. The Spaniards were primarily concerned with 
finding gold, converting Native Americans to 
Christianity and developing overland routes to 
California. The last major Spanish expedition into the 
area took place in 1776. From 1821 until 1848, 
Arizona was part of Mexico. Then, the near 
simultaneous acquisition of Arizona by the U.S. and 
the discovery of gold in California brought increasing 
numbers of people into Arizona Territory. A number 
of routes across Arizona Territory were established for 
travel to California, including two which passed to the 
north of the MSA. 

Despite a growing population in Arizona and 
reasonably good access, the Yarnell area remained 
unsettled until 1863 when gold was discovered on 
nearby Rich Hill. By 1 883, this deposit was depleted, 
but new mines were established in Octave and 
Congress. Wickenburg was settled in the mid- 1870s 
and became the main population center in the area. The 
Yarnell gold deposit was first mined in the late 1 880s 
or early 1890s. Records indicate that a bunkhouse, 
boarding house, barn and office were present at the site 
in conjunction with the mine. Mining took place until 
1915, then started again in 1935 with new facilities. 
The literature on mining in Arizona does not detail the 
mining in the Yarnell area, concentrating instead on the 
nearby mines of Octave and Congress. The Yarnell 
mine operated until 1942 when it was shut down by a 
War Production Board order. From 1935 to 1942, 



1 50,000 tons of ore were processed, yielding 28.000 
ounces of gold. From 1 981 on, a variety of companies 
conducted exploration activities at the site with YMC 
acquiring the property in 1991. 



3.7.2 



INVENTORY RESULTS 



The inventories recorded seven historic sites, 23 
isolated occurrences and 50 localities containing 
mining claim cairns and/or prospect pits. The sites 
included three gold mining locations, a trash scatter, 
segments of two roads and a historic period Native 
American site. The isolated occurrences included 
historic artifacts, mining features such as adits and 
prehistoric artifacts such as stone flakes and ceramic 
sherds. 

In conformance with the National Historic 
Preservation Act, the BLM evaluated the sites' 
eligibility for nomination to the National Register of 
Historic Places. Guidelines for the evaluation of 
historic mining sites and roads, developed by Arizona's 
SHPO, were used in making these assessments (Keane 
and Rogge 1992). Eligibility determinations involved 
consultations among the BLM, the SHPO and Native 
American tribes. The isolated occurrences, mining 
features and prospect pits do not meet the site 
definition criteria of the Arizona State Museum and are 
not eligible for the National Register. 

The Yarnell Overlook consists of a rock wall 
enclosure and a scatter of Euro-American and Native 
American artifacts. The function and identity of the 
site and its occupants is unknown, but the artifacts 
recovered suggest that it was used between 1 878 and 
1908 by Yavapai. The site may have functioned as a 
habitation, corral, trade location or defensive structure. 
It would have been near, and possibly associated with. 



3-84 



the active Yarnell Mine. This site is considered 
eligible for the National Register for its potential to 
yield information about historic Yavapai use of the area 
and relationships between Native Americans and other 
groups. 

The historic Yarnell Mine is in the northern portion 
of the MSA. The Yarnell Mine contained a series of 
structures and facilities associated with the 
underground mining operations and ore processing 
conducted between 1890 and 1945. However, older 
structures were destroyed during successive 
improvements ongoing to the 1980s, and there are no 
remaining historic structures and few artifacts. The 
locations of the underground workings have been 
recorded and most are now unsafe to enter. The 
historic Yarnell Mine is regarded as not eligible for the 
National Register due to its poor integrity. 

Two smaller mining sites, the Biedler Mine and the 
Edgar Shaft, consist of shafts, adits, waste rock piles 
and scattered artifacts. These sites have been fully 
recorded and have limited potential to yield further 
information. They are regarded as eligible for the 
National Register because they contain features that 
may date to the 1890s, which provide locational 
information that corroborates archival records on early 
mining activities. However, most of the associated 
artifacts were produced between 1930 and 1960. 

Site AZ N: 14: 1 8 (ASM) is a trash scatter deposited 
near a dirt road. It contains artifacts dating from the 
1930s to about I960. The site is regarded as not 
eligible for the National Register because it lacks 
integrity and the potential to yield important 
information about history. 



The MSA contains two road segments, an old 
segment of State Highway 89 and a portion of a 
primitive road known as Mina Road where it enters 
Glen Ilah. The old highway segment was abandoned 
within the past 30 years and is not eligible for the 
National Register. The SHPO has determined that the 
dirt road, known as the Mina-Genung Road, is eligible 
for the National Register for its association with 
Charles Genung, an important figure in the history of 
Peeples Valley. 

Representatives of the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe 
identified the Yarnell Overlook as a site of traditional 
cultural importance, valuable for its potential to yield 
information about Yavapai history. However, they had 
no specific knowledge of the site, and they expressed 
the desire to participate in any studies. No other places 
of traditional importance to Native American groups 
have been identified by the Yavapai-Prescott or other 
tribes. 



3.8 TRANSPORTATION 

The roads included in the transportation analysis are 
shown in Figure 3-19. They include State Highway 89 
from Wickenburg to Prescott, and Mina Road and 
Lakewood Drive in Glen Ilah. State Highway 89 is the 
only major road leading to the Yarnell area and all 
access to the proposed project would occur from this 
highway. Mina Road intersects the east side of State 
Highway 89 near the proposed project and would form 
part of the mine entrance. Lakewood Drive intersects 
the west side of State Highway 89 in Glen Ilah, just 
north of the mine entrance. 



3-85 



3.8.1 DESCRIPTION OF ROADS AND 

EXISTING TRAFFIC CONDITIONS 



in each direction are generally 12 feet and shoulder 
widths vary from zero to eight feet. 



State Highway 89 begins at U.S. 93 northwest of 
Wickenburg, runs approximately 50 miles north and 
northeast to Prescott and ends at U.S. 40 in Ash Fork 
(Alternate 89 runs from Prescott to Flagstaff). This 
section of State Highway 89, from Wickenburg to 
Flagstaff, was originally part of U.S. 89, but was 
relinquished to the state in the early 1 990s. It is known 
as Broadway within Yarnell and White Spar Road 
outside of Yarnell. State Highway 89 is the main 
north-south transportation route through central 
Yavapai County, connecting the towns of Wickenburg, 
Congress, Yarnell and Prescott. It is used mainly by 
area residents, secondarily by tourists and forms part of 
the route used by those traveling between Prescott and 
points west on U.S. 60. 



The average annual daily traffic volumes (average 
vehicles per day) on four sections of State Highway 89 
between Wickenburg and Ponderosa Park were 
compiled by ADOT and shown in Table 3-18. The 
most recent traffic counts (1995) vary between 1,100 
and 2,200 vehicles per day. These relatively low 
counts reflect the sparse population of the area. Traffic 
volumes are greatest between Wickenburg and 
Congress and decrease as one travels north through 
Yarnell and on toward Prescott. Over the six-year 
period of 1989 to 1995, traffic has increased on each 
section of State Highway 89, as shown in Table 3-16. 
On a percentage basis, traffic increases have been 
greatest between Kirkland Junction and Ponderosa 
Park. 



State Highway 89 is a paved, undivided, two-lane 
highway from Wickenburg through Congress. Between 
Congress and Kirkland Junction, which includes the 
Yarnell area, the only roads intersecting State Highway 
89 are those which lead to small residential 
developments and ranches. Four miles northeast of 
Congress, the highway divides and climbs into the 
Weaver Mountains toward Yarnell/Glen Hah. There 
are two northbound lanes in this section and, at times, 
the northbound and southbound lanes are at different 
elevations. At Milepost 275.5, just south of the MSA, 
the northbound and southbound lanes rejoin. From this 
point to Milepost 276, which is the section of the 
highway bordering the west side of the MSA, there are 
two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes. Just 
north of the proposed mine site, State Highway 89 
becomes two lanes through Yarnell and for most of its 
remaining length, north to Prescott. Travel lane widths 



Lakewood Drive, a paved, two-lane road, is the 
main access road into Glen Ilah from State Highway 
89. Lakewood Drive intersects the west side of State 
Highway 89 just north of the MSA. This intersection 
has no electric signal, with traffic exiting Lakewood 
Drive onto State Highway 89 required to stop. The 24- 
hour traffic counts measured on Lakewood Drive 
between 1989 and 1995 are shown in Table 3-19. 
These values are one-day counts and provide only a 
snapshot of the traffic on this road during one day of 
each year. Traffic volumes are low because this road 
only serves as access to local residences. Overall, 
traffic on this road has remained relatively constant 
over the six-year period of 1 989 to 1 995, increasing an 
average of only 1 5 vehicles per day each year. There 
is no known reason for the low traffic volume measures 
in 1991. 



3-86 



TABLE 3-18 
Existing and Historic Traffic Volumes on State Highway 89 



Section of State Highway 89 


Average Annual Daily Traffic* 


Average Annual Increase 


1989 


1991 


1993 


1995 


vehicles/dav 


% 


US 93 to State Highway 71 


1,800 


2,000 


2,030 


2,209 


68 


4 


State Highway 71 to Shrine Road 


1.400 


1,700 


1,814 


1,942 


90 


6 


Shrine Road to Kirkland Junction 


1,200 


1 ,300 


1,721 


1,525 


54 


5 


Kirkland Junction to Ponderosa 


770 


1 .000 


1.912 


1.102 


55 


13 



Source: Arizona Department of Transportation. 1996 
* Vehicles per day 



TABLE 3-19 
Existing and Historic Traffic Volumes on South Lakewood Drive 



Measured Dailv Traffic Volume* 


Average Annual Increase 


1989 


1991 


1993 


1995 


vehicles/day 


% 


501 


232 


606 


588 


15 


17 



Source: Arizona Department of Transportation, 1996 
* Vehicles per day 



Mina Road is the local name of the first 400 feet of 
the gravel road that hegins at State Highway 89 in Glen 
Hah and leads to Stanton. This first section of the road 
serves as access to the few residences in the immediate 
vicinity. The segment of Mina Road from State 
Highway 89 to the Section 14 line is under Yavapai 
County jurisdiction. As the road continues down the 
Yarnell Creek and Antelope Creek drainages, it is 
known as Stanton-Octave Road or Old Stage Road. It 
is an historic road in that it can he found on maps that 
pre-date Arizona's statehood and is part of the former 
stage-coach route in this area. Stanton is an old mining 
camp approximately five miles down the valley. It has 
recently heen developed into a campground for tourists 
interested in panning and prospecting for gold. The 
Stanton Octave Road runs past Stanton and loops back 
to State Highway 89, approximately two miles north of 



Congress. Most Stanton-bound traffic uses this section 
of the road. 

Mina Road crosses both private and public land and 
is owned by no single entity. Maintenance has 
historically been provided by Yavapai County. The 
county conducts periodic traffic counts at both the 
Yarnell and Congress ends of the road. Daily traffic 
counts at the Yarnell end range from approximately 
150 to 450 vehicles per day. This includes traffic 
associated with local residents and ranching in the 
valley. Counts at the Congress end range from 
approximately 250 to 350 vehicles per day. This 
includes most Stanton-bound traffic. 



3-89 



3.8.2 ACCIDENT HISTORY 

Accident data is only available for State Highway 
89. The data, compiled by ADOT, is shown in Table 
3-20. Accident data was analyzed for two sections of 
State Highway 89 for the purposes of this report. The 
first section, from State Highway 71 to Peeples Valley, 
represents the section of State Highway 89 within five 
miles of the MSA. The second section, from U.S. 93 
to Kirkland Junction, encompasses almost the entire 
study area. The data for both sections and for both of 
the time periods analyzed show that more than 80 
percent of the accidents on State Highway 89 involve 
only one vehicle, e.g., vehicles running off the road, 
hitting animals or fixed objects, etc. The data also 
show that the number of accidents has increased 
substantially. There was more than a 300 percent 
increase in the number of accidents on both sections of 
State Highway 89 analyzed between the periods of 
1989 to 1992 and 1993 to 1995. This rate of increase 



exceeds the rate at which traffic volume has been 
increasing, as shown in Table 3-18. The number of 
injuries and fatalities has also increased. 



3.9 NOISE 

The following section describes the background 
(ambient) noise environment at the MSA and in the 
Yarnell and Glen Ilah areas and describes applicable 
noise regulations and impact criteria. However, prior 
to discussing ambient noise levels in the area, it is 
important to define noise terminology. 



3.9.1 



NOISE TERMINOLOGY 



When a surface vibrates, such as that of a 
loudspeaker or engine, it causes pressure fluctuations 
in the air. The human ear is capable of detecting an 
enormous range of these pressure fluctuations. 



TABLE 3-20 
State Highway 89 Accident and Injury/Fatality Data 



Segment of State 
Highway 89 


1989 - 1992 


1993 - 1995 


% 

Increase 

(all) 


Multi- 
vehicle 
Accidents 


Single- 
vehicle 
Accidents 


Total 
Accidents 


Multi- 
vehicle 
Accidents 


Single- 
vehicle 
Accidents 


Total 
Accidents 


State Highway 71 to 
Peeples Valley* 

U.S. 93 to Kirkland 
Junction** 


1 
2 


22 
28 


23 
30 


10 
18 


60 
91 


70 
109 


204% 
263% 


Segment of State 
Highway 89 


Injuries 


Fatalities 


Total 

Injuries and 

Fatalities 


Injuries 


Fatalities 


Total 

Injuries and 

Fatalities 


% 

Increase 

(all) 


State Highway 71 to 
Peeples Valley* 

U.S. 93 to Kirkland 
Junction** 


16 
17 






16 

17 


33 
53 




3 


33 
56 


106% 
229% 



Source: Arizona Department of Transportation. 1996 
* Approximately 10 miles long 
**Approximately 32 miles long 



3-90 



Because this range is so large, noise is measured on a 
decibel (dB) scale, which compresses it to more 
manageable numbers (20 to 1 20 dB). The sum total of 
noise, which exists in communities due to traffic, 
industry, etc., is termed environmental noise and is 
most commonly measured in A-weighted decibels 
(dBA). A-weighting is a weighting scheme applied to 
measured or predicted noise levels that corresponds to 
the way the human ear is less sensitive to low 
frequency sound and more sensitive to high frequency 
sound. Figure 3-20 shows the typical noise level of 
some common noise sources. 

Environmental noise is constantly fluctuating as the 
result of activities such as a truck passing by, a 
neighbor starting a lawn mower, etc. As a result, there 
are many ways to quantify it (e.g., minimum, maximum 
or average noise levels). Two of the most common 
noise level descriptors and those which will be used 
throughout this report are the energy-equivalent level 
(L eq ) and the day-night noise level (L dn ). The L eq is the 
logarithmic average noise level over a given time. 
Unless otherwise noted, all L eq s discussed in this 
section are A-weighted. hourly averaged levels. The 
L dn quantifies the average noise level over a 24-hour 
period. It is computed by averaging the 24-hourly L s 
for a given day, with 1 dBA added to the noise levels 
between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. to account for 
heightened noise sensitivity at night. L eq and L dn are 
both expressed in dBA. 

The ambient noise level and noise impact 
discussions are divided into daytime and nighttime 
periods. For the purpose of this report, daytime is 
defined as 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and nighttime as 1 p.m. to 
7 a.m.. 



3.9.2 



EXISTING NOISE LEVELS 



A noise survey was conducted in the vicinity of the 
MSA in May 1 995 by Air Sciences Inc. to quantify and 
characterize the existing noise environment. Noise 
measurements were taken at six locations as shown in 
Figure 3-21. Hourly average noise levels were 
measured continuously at locations 1, 2 and 3 by an 
unattended monitor. Short-term (approximately 20- 
minute) noise measurements were taken at each 
location twice each day (one daytime and one nighttime 
measurement). The continuous monitors provided 
information regarding the fluctuation of noise levels 
over the course of the day. The short-term 
measurements provided information regarding the 
sources of noise during different parts of the day and at 
different locations. All noise levels were measured as 
A-weighted L s. 

The measurement results are presented in Table 3- 
2 1 . Average daytime L s range from 39 to 45 dBA for 
all locations. During the daytime, the main sources of 
noise over the entire study area were traffic on State 
Highway 89 and local roads, the activities of residents 
(air conditioners, lawn mowers, etc.), birds, insects and 
wind. The loudest daytime levels were measured at 
locations 2. 3, 4 and 6. All of these locations have a 
relatively unobstructed view of State Highway 89. The 
lowest levels were measured at locations 1 and 5. Both 
of these locations are set back from State Highway 89 
and are isolated from it by small hills and other 
residences. 

The average nighttime L s range from 34 to 37 
dBA. These levels are approximately six to seven dBA 
lower than daytime levels. At night, when traffic on 
State Highway 89 was almost non-existent and most 



3-91 



NOISE SOURCE 

Amplified rock'n roll band 

Commercial jet takeoff at 200 feet 

Pile driving at 200 feet 

Busy urban street 

Construction equipment at 50 feet 

Freeway traffic at 50 feet 

Normal conversation at 6 feet 

Typical office (interior) 

Soft radio music 

Typical residential (interior) 

Typical whisper at 6 feet 

Human breathing 

Threshold of hearing 






liiilLiiili!! 

Mm 
lllillllll l lll 



NOISE LEVEL (dBA) 

-120 

-110 

-100 

-90 

-80 

-70 

-60 

-50 

-40 

-30 

-20 

-10 

-0 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTY, , 



FIGURE 3-20 



EXAMPLES OF TYPICAL 
NOISE LEVELS 



3-92 



residents were indoors, ambient noise levels were 
controlled by wind, birds and insects. As these sources 
are common to all locations, there was only a three 
dBA variation in nighttime noise levels over the entire 
study area. 

There was some difference in continuous and short- 
term noise levels measured at locations 1 , 2 and 3. The 
data measured by the continuously operating monitors 
should be used for assessing impact, as it is more 
statistically representative of background noise levels. 



3.9.3 



NOISE REGULATIONS 



Noise regulations or guidelines typically exist on 
federal, state and local levels. However, neither the 
state of Arizona nor Yavapai County have noise 
regulations which would specifically be applicable to 
a mining operation. The relationship of noise 
generated by the proposed project to noise control 
guidelines or regulations is discussed in Chapter 4 of 
this EIS. 



3.10 SOCIOECONOMIC 
CONDITIONS 

3.10.1 STUDY AREA 

The proposed Yarnell Project is in Yavapai County 
south of Yarnell and across State Highway 89 from the 
Glen Ilah subdivision. This location is about 26 miles 
north of Wickenburg (in Maricopa County) and 35 
miles south of Prescott, the county seat of Yavapai 
County. The area has a long history of mining activity. 
The region is still primarily rural in nature, with a 
county population density of about 1 6.6 persons per 
square mile (based on a 1996 population of about 
134,600 persons in the 8.091 square miles comprising 
Yavapai County). 

Various factors would influence the location and 
magnitude of potential economic and social impacts 
associated with project implementation. These include: 

♦ the location of and access to the ore body; 



TABLE 3-21 

Noise Measurement Results 

(L eq , dBA) 



Loc. # 


Hand-held Measurements 


Monitor Data 


Daytime 


Nighttime 


Daytime 


Nighttime 


Minimum 


Maximum 


Average 


Minimum 


Maximum 


Average 


Average 


Average 


1 


37 


41 


39 


34 


35 


35 


39 


37 


2 


41 


46 


44 


34 


37 


35 


39 


37 


3 


42 


47 


44 


33 


35 


34 


40 


37 


4 


42 


47 


45 


33 


35 


34 


• 


• 


5 


40 


47 


42 


33 


36 


34 


• 


• 


6 


** 


** 


45 


34 


35 


35 


• 


• 



No data measured 

Only one measurement conducted. 



3-95 



♦ the likely residence area for people working at 
the mine (existing residents and/or any 
inmigrating project employees); 

♦ the rate and magnitude of inmigration (which 
would he influenced by the availability of a 
trained or trainable local workforce and a 
developer-sponsored training program); 

♦ the rate and magnitude of population and 
employee turnover (including student population 
turnover in schools, employee turnover at the 
mine and employee turnover from existing jobs 
to employment with the project); 

♦ the availability and location of housing and 
existing and potential housing sites; 

♦ the capacity and condition of existing local 
services and facilities in relation to potential 
housing locations; 

♦ the people directly or indirectly affected 
economically by the proposed mining operation 
(e.g., from wages and taxes); 

♦ the willingness and ability of community 
residents and local government personnel to 
accommodate change and 

♦ the perceived quality of life values of residents. 

Based on these factors, the social and economic 
impact area for the proposed project consists of 
Yavapai County, Arizona. The area that would be most 
affected by the project is the unincorporated 
community of Yarnell (which includes the Glen Ilah 
and Peeples Valley areas). Residents of Yarnell would 
be exposed to many direct effects of mining because of 
the proximity of the town to the proposed mine. 
Therefore, Yarnell is the primary study area within this 
analysis. 

Residents of Yarnell and immediate environs can be 
grouped into major segments including: 



♦ elderly and retired persons; 

♦ persons who have left urban areas for a more 
peaceful lifestyle; 

♦ seasonal or weekend residents (e.g., not 
full-time residents) and 

♦ commercial service sector, ranchers, etc. 

While the area is very rural in nature, the warm 
weather climate and existing road system allow 
residents easy access to urban centers such as Prescott 
and Phoenix. 

Other potentially affected jurisdictions include the 
communities of Congress, Wickenburg and Prescott. 
Effects to these jurisdictions would generally be much 
less than those which could occur in Yarnell. These 
other jurisdictions are discussed as appropriate in this 
analysis and comprise the secondary study area. 

The northern Phoenix metropolitan area is also 
considered as a potential residency area for mine 
workers because of easy access to Yarnell and the 
abundant housing and other infrastructure in the 
Phoenix area. Baseline data for Maricopa County and 
the Phoenix area are not included in this EIS because 
the Yarnell Project would be of such minor scope in the 
context of the Maricopa County and Phoenix area 
economies. 

The old gold-mining towns of Stanton. Octave and 
Weaver are several miles from Yarnell, but are not 
considered as possible residency locations because of 
the lack of modern services and housing. These areas 
are currently populated by only a few persons. The 
North Ranch area, about five miles south of Congress, 
is a growing retirement area of recreational vehicle 
camping facilities and undeveloped lots which could be 
developed into housing units. Since North Ranch is 



3-96 



operated as a retirement community/travel club (known 
as the Escapees), it is also not considered as a potential 
residential area for mine-related workers. 

3.10.2 ECONOMIC TRENDS AND 
CONDITIONS 

Yavapai County is one of Arizona's oldest counties. 
Its economy has historically been forged from the 
availability of natural resources such as minerals (e.g., 
gold and copper), scenic pine forests providing 
year-round recreational opportunities, a moderate 
climate not as harsh in summer months compared to 
other parts of Arizona and opportunities for ranching. 

Like Arizona as a whole, Yavapai County has 
grown substantially over the past few decades. Growth 
has taken the form of increasing population and 
employment opportunities, an expansion and 
diversification of the economy and expansion and 
improvement of infrastructure to serve the growing 
population. The area has a relatively educated and 
skilled laborforce, which is highly mobile because of 
the existing road system and warm weather climate. 
Yavapai County has also attracted a substantial 
retirement community because of the perceived high 
quality of life. The County contains two colleges and 
an aeronautical university (Arizona Department of 
Commerce 1996a). 

Government also plays an important part in the 
county economy. Prescott is the headquarters of the 
Prescott National Forest, with other major government 
employers including the Arizona Department of 
Transportation, Yavapai County, the city of Prescott 
and the public school system. 



Cattle ranching and mining have traditionally 
provided the major sources of economic activity in the 
Yarnell area. A growing arts, crafts and antique 
business has resulted in a noticeable increase in tourism 
(Arizona Department of Commerce 1996b). The area 
has many scenic driving routes including State 
Highway 89. The shrine of St. Joseph of the 
Mountains in Yarnell is open for self-guided tours and 
attracts hundreds of visitors annually from Arizona, 
neighboring states, Mexico and other foreign countries. 

Yarnell has also become an attractive retirement 
community because of the relatively low cost of living 
and mild climate. Many summer visitors come to 
Yarnell to escape the desert heat. A small commercial 
and service sector exists to serve these residents and 
the surrounding rural area (Arizona Department of 
Commerce 1996b). 

While there are some indicators of economic growth 
in the Yarnell area, economic activity in Yarnell 
generally has not mirrored the major growth occurring 
in other parts of the county. For example, growth 
indicators such as postal receipts, student enrollment 
and net assessed valuation have remained relatively 
stable over the 1 99 1 - 1 995 period (Arizona Department 
of Commerce 1996b). A recent report by Yavapai 
College (1996) notes that the rgcord levels of 
population growth, construction and retail activities in 
the county are generally confined in the central 
Yavapai region and the Verde Valley. (This would not 
include Yarnell.) 

Yarnell residents use commercial, retail and medical 
services in Wickenburg to a large extent. Services in 
Prescott and the Phoenix area are also available to 
Yarnell residents. 



3-97 



3.10.3 EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME 

Since 1980, Yavapai County has generally 
experienced a growing economy. The civilian labor 
force has increased steadily during this 1 7-year period. 
Unemployment rates in Yavapai County from 1 980 to 
1996 have varied from a low of 4.6 percent in 1990 to 
a high of 10 percent in 1983 (Arizona Department of 
Economic Security 1997). 

Table 3-22 summarizes labor market data for 
Yavapai County during the 1991-1996 period. The 
data show increased employment accompanied by an 
expansion in the civilian labor force. During this 
period, unemployment has remained relatively stable. 

Income growth has been steady for all economic 
sectors except mining and TCP (transportation, 
communication and public utilities). Average per 
capita income growth has been steady over the past 15 
years. Because of the relatively large number of retired 
people in the study area, non-earned income 
(dividends, interest, transfer payments) has also been 
increasing (Arizona Economic Data Center 1997). 

The dominant employment sectors in Yavapai 
County, as of mid- 1997, were retail trade (at 
approximately 28 percent of the workforce), services 
(with 27 percent) and government (with 18 percent) 



(Arizona Department of Economic Security 1997). 
The construction sector has also been a major 
economic stimulus in the area. Construction job and 
income growth is a reflection of the rapid influx of 
migrants to the county and the corresponding need for 
new housing in which to accommodate them. The 
predominant source of new housing has been 
single-family homes which accounted for 90 percent of 
the housing permits issued in 1994 (Arizona Public 
Service Company 1 995). 

The economy is also being fueled by major growth 
from retiree and near-retiree age groups. Demand for 
goods and services from these groups is driven by 
pensions, Social Security payments and investment 
income, rather than earned wages or salary. This 
situation is a major reason for the growing share of the 
county employment base working in trade and service 
jobs (Arizona Public Service Company 1995). 

The history of mining sector employment in 
Yavapai County reflects the typical peaks and valleys 
traditionally associated with mining. Mining 
employment in the county reached 1,279 in 1983, 
followed by a 42.4 percent drop in 1 984 to 736 mining 
employees. By 1991, mining employment had grown 
to 1 , 1 85 but by 1 995, it was down to 455, the lowest it 
has been over the last 25 years (EPA 1997). It is not 
known if mining workers who have lost their jobs 



TABLE 3-22 
Yavapai County Labor Force and Employment (Annual Average for 1991-1996) 





1991 


1992 


1993 


1994 


1995 


1996 


Civilian labor force 

Employment 

Unemployment 


44,525 
44,200 

2.325 


49,875 
46,375 
3,500 


52,525 
49,550 
2.975 


57.925 
54,800 
3,125 


62.050 
59,075 
2.975 


64.700 
61,625 
3.075 


Unemployment rate 


5.0% 


7.0% 


5.7% 


5.4% 


4.8% 


4.8% 



Source: State of Arizona. Department of Economic Security 



3-98 



stayed in the county or migrated to other areas for 
employment opportunities. Although the Cyprus 
Bagdad copper mining facility is currently one of the 
largest employers in Yavapai County, the mining and 
quarrying sector accounted for only two percent of the 
county's total wages and salaries in 1996. 

3.10.4 POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS 

Arizona's population grew by 34.9 percent from 
1 980 to 1 990. Yavapai County grew 58.1 percent over 
this period, making it the second fastest growing county 
in the state. Continued growth in Yavapai County is 
reflected in the 1996 population estimate of 134.600, 
an increase of nine percent from 1994. Yavapai 
County contained approximately three percent of the 
population of Arizona in 1997. The population growth 
in the county can be directly attributed to large 
inmigrations into the state. Population projections for 
the years 2000 and 2015 predict continued growth for 
the county (Arizona Department of Economic Security 
1994). 



an increase of more than 50 percent since 1 980. The 
1 996 population of Wickenburg was estimated to be 
about 4,845, with Congress having a 1996 population 
of about 750. 

Based on information prepared by ABC 
Demographic Consultants (1994), the population 
within a 50-mile radius of Prescott (which would 
include Yarnell): 

♦ has an average 2.45 persons per household; 

♦ is primarily Caucasian (88.2 percent), with 
Hispanics being the largest minority group (8.1 
percent); 

♦ has a median age of 41 .3 years and an average 
age of 41 .5 years and 

♦ has 49.18 percent males and 50.82 percent 
females. 

Analysis of 1990 U.S. Census data for zip code 
85362 (Yarnell/Glen Ilah) indicates similar 
demographics for the specific Yarnell area. 



The population of Yarnell (including Glen Ilah) has 
traditionally been estimated in tandem with the 
community of Peeples Valley, approximately three 
miles north of Yarnell. The estimated 1 980 population 
of Yarnell/Peeples Valley was 785. The joint 
population was estimated to have grown to an 
estimated 1.195 and 1,314 in 1990 and 1993, 
respectively. As of late 1994, population estimates 
from Yarnell area residents were 800 persons each for 
Yarnell and Peeples Valley, making the combined 
population for the two unincorporated communities 
about 1 ,600 persons. 

The population of Prescott has grown substantially 
in recent years, reaching an estimated 31,275 in 1996, 



♦ There were an estimated 2.44 persons per 
household, 

♦ the predominant race was Caucasian with 97.5 
percent of the population. 

♦ the average age was 40 years old and 

♦ there were 5 1 .5 percent males and 49.5 percent 
females. 

Additionally, analysis of 1990 Census data 
describing the population within this zip code indicated 
that: 

♦ about 46 percent of households had no wage or 
salary income, 

♦ about 51 percent of households had social 
security income, 



3-99 



♦ about 27 percent of households had 
interest/dividends/rental income, 

♦ about 28 percent of households had other 
retirement income, and 

♦ of all persons 1 6 years of age and older, about 
49 percent were not in the labor force (e.g., not 
seeking work). 

Compared to 1980, these data reflect an older 
population, but similar household size and similar 
mixes of race and gender. The largest portions of 
population growth to the year 2005 is forecasted to be 
in the 45 to 64 and 65+ age categories (Arizona Public 
Service Company 1995), which will continue to cause 
increases in median and average age in the area. 

3.10.5 HOUSING 

The most recent comprehensive housing data 
describing Yavapai County is from the 1990 census. 
The census counted 54,805 housing units in the county, 
of which 44,778 were occupied (81.7 percent of the 
total). With the large population growth and record 
new construction levels since 1990, the total housing 
stock in the county is currently substantially higher 
than this 1990 census count. The substantial 
population growth and associated demand for housing 
has led to major increases in housing costs, especially 
in the Prescott area. The average cost of a home in 
Prescott rose to $ 1 5 1 ,059 in 1 994 and the cost of living 
in Prescott was 9.3 percent above the national average 
as of the third quarter 1994 (Prescott Chamber of 
Commerce 1995). 

The most recent comprehensive survey of housing 
in Yarnell was conducted in association wivh the 
development of the Yavapai County General 
Development Plan in 1975. While this data is 
obviously somewhat dated, it still provides a relevant 



discussion of the number and types of housing since 
the housing stock has not changed dramatically since 
1 975. The 1 975 data showed an estimated total of 434 
dwelling units, of which 331 (76 percent of the total) 
were single family homes. The remaining 103 units 
were mobile homes. About 88 percent of this housing 
stock was classified as being sound structurally, with 
about 12 percent classified as deteriorating or 
dilapidated. 

A housing count was performed in 1 996 using both 
aerial photos and field reconnaissance. No effort was 
made to determine the condition of the housing stock in 
this effort. About 380 housing units were counted, 
with the vast majority of units consisting of single 
family homes. The lesser number of units compared to 
the 1975 study is probably due to a reduction in the 
number of mobile homes and deteriorated/ dilapidated 
homes. 

Generally, land and housing values throughout the 
county (including Yarnell/Glen Hah) have been rising 
in recent years. Assessed valuations associated with 
land and housing values have also been rising. 
However, homeowners and landowners in the areas 
near the proposed mine site (e.g.. most notably in Glen 
Hah) have expressed concern over a potential decrease 
in property values attributable to the negative aspects of 
the mine such as visual effects, noise and public safety. 
The closest residences are within several hundred yards 
of the MSA (see also the visual resources discussion). 
Real estate value issues will be discussed in Chapter 4 
ofthisEIS. 



3-100 



3.10.6 PUBLIC SERVICES AND 
INFRASTRUCTURE 

This section summarizes existing public services 
and infrastructure in the immediate Yarnell area. The 
unincorporated community of Yarnell, with its rural 
nature and reliance on Yavapai County, Prescott and 
Wickenburg for public and commercial services, would 
be very vulnerable to major additional growth. 

On the other hand, service and infrastructure within 
Prescott (with a metropolitan population of more than 
75,000 persons) and Wickenburg (a relatively stable 
city of 4,800 persons) would not be affected to any 
significant degree by any potential growth associated 
with the proposed Yarnell Project given the expected 
low proportion of inmigrating residents who would 
work at the mine. Existing residents of the study area 
hired to work at the mine would have negligible 
identifiable impact upon public service and 
infrastructure in their home communities. While it is 
anticipated that the residency locations of any 
inmigrators associated with the mine would be spread 
out into the wide variety of residency areas within 
reasonable commuting distance, it is important to 
consider the potential impacts associated with some 
growth in Yarnell. 

3.10.6.1 Utilities 

Water is provided to Yarnell residents through the 
Yarnell Water Improvement Association. There is no 
centralized sewer system; sewage disposal needs are 
provided through individual septic tanks. Electric 
power is provided by Arizona Public Service Company, 
and propane is available from a variety of local and 
regional dealers. Telephone service is provided by 
U.S. West Communications. 



3. 10.6.2 Edu cation 

There is one public elementary school in Yarnell. 
Students in junior high and high school are bused to 
Wickenburg, 26 miles south, or to Prescott, 31 miles 
north. Enrollment (based on 40th day average daily 
memberships) in the elementary school has been 
relatively stable in recent years, with 77 students in 
1992-93 and 1993-94, 71 students in 1994-95 and 84 
students in 1 995-96 (Arizona Department of Education 
1996). 

3.10.6.3 Public Safety and Emergency Services 

The Yavapai County Sheriffs Department has 
stationed a sergeant and four deputies in the Yarnell 
District. These officers are responsible for patrolling 
more than 1 ,000 square miles of county land. There is 
a substation in Yarnell which can be used as an office 
facility, but the substation is typically unmanned and 
calls to the Sheriff from Yarnell would go to the main 
facility in Prescott. There are no predominant or 
unusual types of Sheriffs department calls currently in 
the Yarnell District; rather, calls are typically for 
"general police services" (Yavapai County Sheriffs 
Office 1996). 

A 91 1 emergency call from the Yarnell area would 
be received in Prescott by a dispatcher in the County 
Sheriffs office. Generally, an emergency call would 
lead to dispatcher contact with the nearest Sheriffs 
deputy, who would proceed to the emergency site. A 
member of the volunteer fire department may also 
respond to an emergency if available. If an ambulance 
is needed, the dispatcher would call for an ambulance 
either from Wickenburg or Prescott. Wickenburg may 
be the preferred ambulance source in most cases to 
Yarnell because the ambulance can arrive sooner than 



3-101 



an ambulance from Prescott (Yavapai County Sheriffs 
Office 1 996). In recent years, the city of Wickenburg 
ambulance service has made an average of about 1 00 
ambulance calls per year to the Yarnell/Glen Ilah area 
(City of Wickenburg Ambulance Service 1997). The 
frequency of these calls over any shorter time period 
varies widely. 

3.10.6.4 Non-Emergency Medical/Health Care 

A private medical office and registered 
nurse-practitioner are available in Yarnell. Full 
medical facilities are available in Wickenburg to the 
south and Prescott to the north via State Highway 89. 
Many Yarnell area residents need to have regular visits 
to doctors or health facilities in Wickenburg. 

3.10.6.5 Other Services 



based on information in the 1996 adopted county 
budget (Yavapai County 1996). 

3.10. 7.1 County Revenues and Expenditures 

As the county has grown, sources of revenue to 
Yavapai County have also grown. Major 1996-97 
sources of General Fund revenue to the county 
projected to include property taxes (more than $16.6 
million in 1996-97), intergovernmental revenues such 
as distributions of state sales tax ($12.7 million), 
charges for services and fees (more than $2 million), 
the Motor Vehicle Division distribution to the county 
(more than $2.5 million), county sales tax ($1.5 
million) and fines and forfeits (slightly less than $1.3 
million). Revenues for Special Funds, such as roads, 
environmental services, solid waste and health, come 
primarily from user fees. 



The library in Yarnell has seen increased use in 
recent years. The area is served by a local weekly 
newspaper and has limited financial services including 
a branch office of Bank One. There are four motels 
with 20 units, two trailer/RV parks and one public 
campground available. 

3.10.7 FISCAL CONDITIONS 

The proposed project would occur in 
unincorporated Yavapai County. Therefore, the county 
would be the primary governmental jurisdiction 
affected by the project. While the county would gain 
certain tax revenues from project implementation, it 
could also be responsible for provision of any 
necessary services and infrastructure, which would be 
associated either directly or indirectly with project 
implementation. Consequently, a summary of Yavapai 
County's existing fiscal conditions is presented below 



As with revenues, county expenditures have grown 
in recent years to serve the needs of the growing 
populatinn. Major projected budget categories of 
County General Fund expendhtures include the 
Sheriffs Office (more than $8.5 million in 1996-97), 
medical assistance ($7.3 million), facilities/parks ($2.4 
million), general services ($2.6 million), superior 
courts ($2.6 million) and the county assessor, the 
county attorney, management information systems and 
the planning and building department (each with an 
expenditure of about $1 .5 to $2 million). 

3.10.7.2 Property Taxes 

Property taxes would be the major element of 
additional revenue from the proposed Yarnell Project. 
In Arizona, a gold mine/processing facility is "centrally 
valued," which means the state of Arizona Department 
of Revenue would have primary responsibility to 



3-102 



calculate the market value of the project, upon which 
property taxes would be based. Therefore, the Yavapai 
County assessor would not play the primary role in 
valuing the project. The Department of Revenue would 
calculate the market value of the project using several 
appraisal perspectives, including the income approach 
and cost approach. These approaches use information, 
such as potential income from the proposed project and 
the value of surface land, supplies, capital equipment 
and the mineral resource itself, to calculate the overall 
market value of the property. 

Property tax amounts in Arizona are based on 
assessed valuation, which is less than the market value. 
Assessed valuation is determined by applying a 
percentage (as prescribed by state law) to the market 
value of the property. Once the assessed valuation 
amount is determined, appropriate government 
jurisdictions would apply their standard property tax 
rates to the assessed valuation to calculate actual 
property tax amounts. 

In addition to Yavapai County, government 
jurisdictions with property tax rates applicable to the 
Yarnell Project would include the state of Arizona, the 
Arizona school equalization program, Yarnell 
Elementary School District, Yavapai Community 
College and special districts involving the fire 
department, flood control and the library. Some of 
these jurisdictions can apply a primary tax rate (on the 
full assessed valuation amount), while others can apply 
only a secondary tax rate (on a limited assessed 
valuation amount). 

Assessed valuation in Yavapai County has grown 
substantially in recent years as industrial, commercial 
and residential building and development have 
increased. Total primary assessed valuation in the 



1996-97 fiscal year was about $878 million, a five 
percent increase from 1995-96. Total secondary 
assessed valuation in 1996-97 was about $901 million, 
a two percent increase from 1995-96. Assessed 
valuation for the Yarnell ElementarySchool District, 
the Yarnell Fire Department and the Yarnell Street 
Light Improvement District were about $4.8 million, 
$2.9 million and $1.4 million, respectively. The 1996 
total primary property tax rate (primarily consisting of 
state, county and elementary school tax rates) was 
9.9927 mills for the Yarnell tax district, with a total 
secondary tax rate of 1 .6559 mills, including taxes for 
the county, fire district and street lighting district. Both 
the primary and secondary tax rates are down slightly 
from 1 995 tax rates. 

3.10.8 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE 

On February 11, 1994, Executive Order 12898 
(Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in 
Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations) 
was published in the Federal Register (59 FR 7629). 
The Order requires federal agencies to identify and 
address disproportionately high and adverse human 
health or environmental effects of its programs, 
policies and activities on minority and low-income 
populations. Environmental justice has been defined 
by the EPA as the fair treatment and meaningful 
involvement of all people regardless of race, color, 
national origin or income with respect to the 
development, implementation and enforcement of 
environmental laws, regulations and policies. This goal 
of "fair treatment" is not to shift risks among 
populations, but to identify potential disproportionately 
high adverse impacts on minority and low income 
communities and identify alternatives, if necessary, to 
mitigate these impacts. 



3-103 



Race information from the 1990 census shows that 
97.5 percent of the Yarnell population is "white." This 
classification includes the 6.8 percent of the area's 
residents who are of Hispanic origin. The census data 
indicate that the annual income of 16.3 percent of the 
white/Hispanic population was below the poverty level. 
In comparison, 1 3 percent of the population of Yavapai 
County and 15 percent of the population of Arizona 
were below the poverty levels according to the 1990 
census data. 



3-104 



CHAPTER 4 

CONSEQUENCES OF THE 

PROPOSED ACTION AND 

ALTERNATIVES 



4.0 CONSEQUENCES OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 



An analysis of the potential environmental and 
socioeconomic consequences that could result from 
implementation of YMC's proposed action or the 
alternatives is provided in this chapter. An 
environmental impact is defined as a modification of 
the existing environment or as it is anticipated to be in 
the future as a result of the proposed action or 
alternatives. Environmental impacts can occur as a 
result of the action (direct) or as a secondary result 
(indirect) and can be long term (greater than 10 years) 
or short term (less than 10 years) in duration. Impacts 
can vary in degree or magnitude from no change to 
substantial change. "Cumulative" effects are 
considered separately in Chapter 5. 

The analyses of impacts address the issues raised 
during the scoping process and are framed primarily in 
terms of the existing environment described in Chapter 
3. Issues such as cyanide management and reclamation 
are addressed as they relate to specific elements of the 
human environment (e.g., wildlife). Reclamation bond 
amounts have not yet been established. 

Information used to analyze impacts may include: 

♦ resource quality, or the present condition of the 
resource potentially affected; 

♦ resource sensitivity, or the probable response of 
a particular resource to the proposed action; 

♦ resource quantity, or the amount of the resource 
potentially affected; 

♦ duration of impact, or the period of time over 
which the resources would be affected or 

♦ existing standards in regulations or policies. 



Quantitative measurements of impacts are discussed 
where possible. Where numerical measurements are 
not possible or readily available, qualitative criteria are 
used, based on agency guidelines and professional 
evaluations. 

Anticipated impacts for three alternatives in 
addition to the proposed action are addressed in this 
analysis. The alternatives considered in this EIS 
include (see Chapter 2 for a discussion of each 
alternative): 

♦ The Action as Proposed by YMC 

♦ Alternative 1 -- No Action 

♦ Alternative 2 -- Elimination of the South Waste 
Rock Dump (SWRD) And Consolidation of 
Waste Rock into the North Waste Rock Dump 
(NWRD) 

♦ Alternative 3 -- Elimination of the North Waste 
Rock Dump And Consolidation of Waste Rock 
into the South Waste Rock Dump 

Some mitigation measures, designed to reduce 
potential impacts, have been incorporated by YMC into 
the proposed project. When impacts would remain 
after design measures and Best Management Practices 
(BMPs) have been applied, additional mitigation 
measures are identified. These measures are 
recommended by the BLM and are not part of YMC's 
MPO. Residual (or unavoidable) impacts projected to 
occur after all mitigation measures have been applied 
are then identified. 

Final mitigation measures would be identified after 
public review of the EIS and in consultation with other 



4-1 



agencies and YMC. If the mining plan were approved, 
the BLM would identify the measures as required 
conditions or stipulations in the record of decision. 



surrounding topography. Impacts to topographic 
features from the proposed project are summarized in 
Table 4-1. 



4.1.1 



4.1 THE PROJECT AS 
PROPOSED BY YMC 

TOPOGRAPHY 



4.1.1.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

The creation of the open pit. waste rock dumps and 
heap leach pad would alter the existing land surface 
features if the Yarnell Project proceeds. The open pit 
would be partially backfilled to facilitate drainage and 
minimize the possibility of pond creation. The NWRD 
would cover existing mill tailings at the head of the 
Yarnell Creek channel cut. but would terminate short of 
Cottonwood Spring and the wetland stretch of Yarnell 
Creek. The heap leach pad and the SWRD are to be 
constructed over existing depressions and would 
transform the areas to steeply sloping mounds. 

In general, land surface features in the project area 
would become flatter at tops of the WRDs and heap, 
but steeper on their side slopes and less irregular in 
shape. With the exception of the pit, most of the 
disturbed area would blend with the form of the 



4.1.1.2 Impact Mitigation 

YMC proposes reclamation and closure measures to 
lessen effects to topographic features through grading 
disturbed topography to stable slopes and blending 
them with existing topography. These efforts would 
blend project-related effects with the line and form of 
existing topographic features to some extent, but would 
not eliminate topographic effects, particularly the 
removal of a face of Yarnell Hill as part of the open pit. 
A berm and fence would be constructed around the 
abandoned pit to restrict access to potential hazards. 
No additional mitigation measures are practicable with 
respect to topographic features. 

4.1.1.3 Residual Effects 

Although access to potential hazards of the 
abandoned pit would be restricted, it would not be 
prevented. The construction of project components 
would introduce unnatural landforms to the area. This 
would result in a direct long-term alteration to the 
topography. However, there are no unique or unusual 
topographic or geomorphic features in the area that 
would be altered. 



TABLE 4-1 

Proposed Yarnell Project Operational Features Affecting Topography 


Structure/Feature 


Acres of New 
Disturbance 


Maximum Height 
or Depth (ft) 


Top or Bottom 
Surface 


Overall Side 
Slopes (H:V) 


NWRD 


22 


200 


Sloped 


2:1 


SWRD 


49 


225 


Sloped 


2:1 


Yarnell Pit 


38 


480 


Benched 


2:1 


Heap Leach Pile 


35 


200 


Sloped 


2:1 


Roads* 


8 


NA 


Sloped 






* Road surfaces would be crowned, with cut or fill side slopes. 



4-2 



4.1.2 GEOLOGY, MINERAL RESOURCES 
AND GEOTECHNICAL 
CONSIDERATIONS 

4. 1.2. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Underground mining of the highest-grade ore within 
the proposed project area has taken place in the past. 
The proposed mining operation would remove 
approximately 1 80,000 ounces of additional gold which 
would significantly deplete the mineral resource. This 
depletion would be a necessary effect to meet the 
purpose of and need for the proposed action. 

Mineral exploration drilling activities conducted by 
YMC and previous property holders have been used to 
determine the limits of the gold orebody within the 
MSA. The results of this exploration indicate that 
economic -grade mineral resources do not exist in the 
areas of the proposed heap pad, waste rock dumps and 
the process and ancillary facility areas. Therefore, no 
potentially valuable mineralization would be buried by 
the placement of these structures and features in their 
proposed locations. 

Facility stability concerns focus on public health 
and safety issues. Post-reclamation stability of 
proposed Yarnell Project facilities was evaluated by 
selecting a two-dimensional cross section through areas 
of each structure that would be most critical for 
stability. These areas were selected based on height of 
structure, outside slope and foundation slope. Slopes 
of each selected cross section were analyzed at their 
planned overall slopes of 2h: 1 v. The results of these 
analyses are discussed in Chapter 3. Analysis 
conducted by SMI (Baseline Studies Document, 
Volume 3, Facilities Design Report, SMI, 1996) 
concluded that facilities would be stable at these 



planned slopes. SMI chose criteria for slope stability 
based on guidelines for embankments. The minimum 
safety factor criteria set by SMI were 1.3 for static 
conditions and 1.15 for seismic conditions. In their 
reclaimed configuration, the open pit. heap and WRDs 
all exceeded a 1 .3 safety factor. Seismic analysis of 
these structures used a pseudostatic coefficient (0.05g) 
representing a seismic event with a return frequency 
between 50 and 250 years. In their reclaimed 
condition, these structures exceeded a 1.15 safety 
factor in the stability analyses. An additional stability 
analysis was conducted by SMI for the NWRD, taking 
into account the existing tailings beneath the NWRD. 
The safety factors from this analysis exceeded the 
minimum criteria. Based on these analyses, the 
proposed designs of the open pit, heap and WRDs 
would be stable, and impacts from failures would be 
unlikely. Relationships between proposed facilities and 
potential effects to water resources are discussed in 
sections 4.1.4.2 and 4.1 .4.3. In addition to these EIS 
analyses regarding facility design, the APP process 
conducted by the ADEQ and the NPDES storm water 
permitting process administered by the EPA include 
additional evaluations of the stability and overall 
design parameters for the proposed facilities. 

4.1.2.2 Impact Mitigation 

There are no identifiable adverse effects that would 
require mitigation. 

4.1.2.3 Residual Effects 

Residual effects are negligible. 



4-3 



4.1.3 



SOILS 



4.1.3.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 



mining soil profiles on reclaimed land would have a 
more uniform soil texture, structure, chemistry and 
depth. 



The proposed Yarnell Project would disturb 182 
acres within the MSA, as shown in Figure 4-1, and 
1 8.5 acres for the water supply well field and pipeline, 
resulting in both long- and short-term impacts as a 
result of soil removal, storage and re-application. 
Long-term impacts would include changes in soil 
structure and texture, destruction of natural soil 
horizons, increased erosion and creation of 
unreclaimable areas in the open pit. Short-term impacts 
would include soil erosion losses, a reduction in soil 
productivity and an increase in soil compaction. 

As proposed, during reclamation, topsoil would not 
be applied to about 28 acres of the open pit or 7.6 acres 
of roads retained permanently, resulting in a long-term, 
high adverse impact to the soil resources in this area. 
In addition, 46 acres would be converted to steep 50 
percent slopes, increasing the risk of erosion. 

All available suitable soils in areas to be impacted 
would be salvaged and stockpiled. Recovery of soils is 
limited by steep slopes and the occurrence of boulders 
and rocks. Up to one-half of the topsoil resource may 
not be recoverable and would be lost permanently. 
Establishment of a suitable growth medium on 
approximately 147 acres would consist of replacement 
of topsoil or the incorporation of fertilizers or other soil 
amendments to the regraded material prior to seeding. 
This process would alter the natural soil structure, 
destroy the soil horizons, blend all soil horizons 
together and permanently change soil texture, and an 
unknown volume of soil may remain stockpiled. The 
reclaimed post-mining topography would not resemble 
the current soil mosaic found at the site, and post- 



The impacts of mining on the soil profile and 
distribution would have indirect impacts on the 
vegetation. Vegetation types currently present are, in 
part, a function of soil type, depth and topography, 
which regulates runoff and moisture availability. The 
post-mining topography, with a uniform application of 
soil or incorporation of fertilizers or other amendments 
to the regraded material to establish a suitable growth 
medium, may reduce plant diversity. In addition, 
increasing the number of bare rock exposures would 
have secondary impacts on the environment by 
reducing vegetation cover, increasing runoff and 
erosion and potentially deteriorating surface water 
quality. 

The disturbance of soil resulting from stripping and 
the creation of steep (50 percent) slopes of the regraded 
WRDs and the heap would increase soil losses through 
erosion. Increased erosion rates, relative to natural 
erosion rates, would result from soil salvage, storage 
and re-application operations. Soil erosion would be a 
short-term impact. Erosion would be controlled during 
mining and by the completion of the proposed 
reclamation plan. Secondary impacts of soil erosion 
may include deterioration of air and surface water 
quality. 

Stockpiling soil for long periods can adversely 
affect soil chemical and biological properties, 
productivity and the success of revegetation. 
Stockpiling for more than two years can significantly 
decrease the viability of seeds and microbiota (Office 
of Technology Assessment 1986). Following 
reclamation, post-mining soil productivity would 



4-4 



1 



eventually be restored by natural processes. The loss 
of soil productivity would result in a short-term impact. 

Soil compaction would occur at ancillary facilities 
and on roads from vehicle traffic, beneath buildings 
and during reclamation operations. Soil compaction 
can decrease soil aeration, reduce plant germination 
and seedling emergence and reduce water infiltration, 
hence increasing surface water runoff and erosion. Soil 
compaction would be a short-term impact, except on 
roads retained, if mitigated according to the proposed 
reclamation plan. 

In addition to the effects within the MSA, there 
would be short-term, negligible impacts to soils along 
the water pipelines during construction. Vegetation 
would be selectively removed from the corridor, 
creating minor localized soil disturbances, and there 
may also be compaction of soil by machinery used to 
install the pipeline. Any serious compaction of the soil 
or any critical erosion problems would be mitigated 
following termination of operations. 

4.1.3.2 Impact Mitigation 

YMC has proposed erosion control and reclamation 
as outlined in the MPO. All disturbed areas accessible 
by equipment would be stripped of topsoil. Topsoil 
would be stockpiled on site, out of major drainage ways, 
constructed with 33-percent slopes and seeded with 
native grass to minimize erosion. Topsoil would be 
reapplied or fertilizers or other amendments would be 
incorporated into the regraded material on all disturbed 
surfaces except the steep slopes of the open pit and 
permanent roads. 

Under the proposed action, about 147 of the 182 
acres disturbed within the MSA would have topsoil or 



soil amendments added prior to seeding. There are 
roughly 153,000 cubic yards of salvageable topsoil 
covering the areas to be disturbed. This would provide 
a topsoil cover of about seven inches thick over the 1 47 
acres. Natural soil development on this rocky substrata 
of the pit would require thousands of years. 

During mining and reclamation, soil erosion would 
be mitigated by diversion channels, sediment retention 
structures and regrading to reduce slopes. Disturbed 
areas would be re vegetated and a protective mulch 
applied to minimize erosion. Erosion would be 
monitored for up to seven years following reclamation, 
and areas exhibiting severe erosion during this time 
would be stabilized. 

During storage of topsoil, there would be a 
temporary decrease in soil productivity. Following 
successful establishment of vegetation on reclaimed 
surfaces, the pre-mining soil productivity and 
biological activity level would eventually be restored. 
Weed control may be necessary on newly reclaimed 
areas and topsoil stockpiles. 

YMC has proposed reapplying topsoil on disturbed 
areas or the use of amendments on the regraded area. 
However, YMC has not indicated that all salvaged 
topsoil will be reapplied to disturbed areas. Therefore, 
the following additional mitigation measure is required. 

YMC shall use all topsoil salvaged from 
disturbed areas in reclamation. All salvaged 
and stockpiled topsoil shall be reapplied to 
disturbed areas. 

Areas experiencing heavy vehicle traffic (and not 
designated to remain) and areas under buildings and 
structures would likely be compacted. These areas 



4-7 



would be ripped to relieve compaction and provide a 
more suitable growth medium. Accessible flat benches 
of the pit may be ripped and/or scarified for the 
anchoring of any soil materials. Some small 
depressions would be left on surfaces to aid moisture 
retention. These areas would be used to seed native 
species and transplant selected native shrubs. 

The alteration of soil structure and texture and the 
destruction of natural soil horizons cannot be mitigated. 
However, once vegetation is successfully established, 
natural soil-forming processes would slowly re- 
establish soil profiles. 

4.1.3.3 Residual Effects 



♦ Impacts from mine water supply pumping and 
the mine pit on groundwater level and yield of 
wells in the area. 

♦ Impacts of groundwater withdrawal on surface 
water flow. 

♦ Adequacy of the proposed water supply. 

♦ Water ponding and groundwater inflow to the 
mine pit. 

♦ Impacts of the proposal on the quality of both 
surface and groundwater. 

♦ Impacts to waters of the U.S., including 
wetlands. 

The geographic area evaluated is the entire Water 
Resources Study Area (WRSA). 



The proposed project would result in long-term 
impacts to soils. The soil profiles in areas altered by 
mining activities can never be returned to their original 
condition. In addition, approximately 28 acres of rocky 
disturbed land having steep slopes and seven acres of 
permanent roads would not receive topsoil. This would 
be a permanent loss of soil resources. Topsoil 
resources that are unrecoverable due to steep slopes 
and boulders would be permanently lost. However, 
since the soils are not rare in this part of Arizona, the 
impact to the integrity of the local ecosystem is limited. 



4.1.4 



WATER RESOURCES 



This analysis of consequences to water resources is 
divided into quantity and quality for both surface water 
and groundwater. Attention was focused on issues 
that were raised during the NEPA scoping process. 
These issues are summarized below. 



Surface water quality would be significantly 
impacted if the water quality of any surface water no 
longer meets applicable Arizona Surface Water Quality 
Standards. Groundwater quality degradation would be 
significant if the Arizona State Aquifer Water Quality 
Standards or the Federal Maximum Contaminant 
Levels (MCLs) are exceeded. 

4.1.4.1 Surface Water Effects • Occurrence, 
Flow and Quantity 

Heap Leach Facility. The heap leach facility 
would have the following impacts to surface water 
quantity and drainage patterns in the MSA. 

♦ Approximately 45 acres covered by the heap 
leach pad and solution ponds would no longer 
contribute to surface runoff to Yarnell Creek 
during the life of the project. Surface water 
originating upgradient of the heap leach facility 
would be diverted around the facility and 
discharged at outfall SWO-01. Diversion 



4-8 



channels are designed to accommodate runoff 
from the 100-year, 24-hour storm event (4.8 
inches). Precipitation falling on the leach site 
from a 100-year, 24-hour storm event, the 
volume of operating solution and a volume 
equal to the 24-hour draindown of the heap 
would be contained within the heap leach 
facility; this is described in Section 2.1.4.4 of 
this document. After closure/reclamation, the 
45 acres of drainage would be returned to the 
Yarnell Creek drainage. 

♦ During the initial construction of the heap leach 
facility, two temporary diversions (designed for 
the 100-year, 24-hour event) would divert flow 
around the leach pad area to outfalls SWO-03 
and 04. Drainage from a waste rock fill area 
would be discharged at SWO-03, while an 
undisturbed future phase of the leach pad area 
would be discharged at SWO-04. These 
diversions and discharge points would be 
temporary and would be covered by the leach 
pad as it is expanded during operations. 

♦ Tom Cat Tank, a range improvement, would be 
covered by the leach facility and permanently 
lost. 

Waste Rock Dumps. The two waste rock dumps 
would have the following minor impacts to surface 
water quantity and drainage patterns within the MSA. 

♦ Current drainage patterns would be permanently 
altered. Runoff from the top surface of the 
SWRD that previously drained to Fools Gulch 
would be diverted to Yarnell Creek and 
discharged at outfall SWO-01. The sloped 
surface of the SWRD would drain to a sediment 
retention structure at outfall SWO-09. Runoff 
from the NWRD would drain to a sediment 



retention structure at outfall SWO-06. During 
operations, discharge from the sediment 
retention structures should not occur from storm 
events smaller than a 10-year, 24-hour storm. 
The sediment retention structures would have 
the capacity to contain a 25-year, 24-hour event. 
Therefore, the structures should be able to 
contain runoff from a 10-year, 24-hour storm 
plus two to three years of accumulated sediment 
under average conditions. Upon reclamation, 
these retention basins would be filled with 
coarse waste rock. 
♦ Upon completion of the SWRD, 37 acres that 
previously drained to Fools Gulch would be 
permanently diverted to the Yarnell Creek 
drainage by diversions along the west side of the 
heap leach facility and discharged at outfall 
SWO-01 (see Figure 2-4). Upon backfilling and 
reclamation of the pit, about 15.4 acres that 
previously drained to Yarnell Creek would be 
diverted to Fools Gulch by the pit. Therefore, 
the net increase in drainage to Yarnell Creek 
would be approximately 22 acres. This acreage 
comprises about 2.5 percent of the Yarnell 
Creek drainage area upstream of its confluence 
with the catchment containing the heap leach 
facility and outfall SW-01. Figure 3-6 shows 
the drainage pattern and catchment areas. The 
permanent diversion channel would be more 
than 3,000 feet long and would be near the head 
of the drainage near the drainage divide. Flow 
from the diversion would contribute to total 
flow in the lower Yarnell Creek drainage. Peak 
flow from the diversion may be slightly 
attenuated compared to peak flow under natural 
conditions. There would be little effect on the 
peak flow in Yarnell Creek. The area diverted 
from Fools Gulch would be the relatively flat 



4-9 



top surface of the SWRD. Infiltration of 
precipitation would likely be much higher than 
natural soils and bedrock, resulting in reduced 
runoff. Any seepage from infiltration into the 
SWRD would return to Fools Gulch. Therefore, 
any increase in flow rate or volume would likely 
be less than the 2.5 percent increase in the 
drainage area. 

♦ Precipitation infiltrating the dumps could appear 
as seeps near the toe of the dump. 

♦ Seepage of water from the upper tailings bench 
may increase as consolidation occurs resulting 
from placement of the NWRD over them. 
Seepage may then decrease to about half of the 
current rate due to decreased permeability (SMI, 
July 1997). 

Mine Pit. The mine pit would have the following 
minor impacts to surface water quantity and drainage 
patterns in the MSA during mining and post-closure. 

♦ Storm runoff would enter the mine pit. This 
runoff would either evaporate, seep into the 
bedrock or flow into Fools Gulch. Water that 
accumulates in the pit during mining would be 
pumped out of the pit and used for dust 
suppression. 

♦ The pit would be partially backfilled to establish 
drainage toward the southwest end of the pit 
bottom (see Figure 2-1 1) at a one-half to two 
percent grade. The mine pit would function as 
an extension of Fools Gulch catchment. 

♦ The decline in groundwater levels surrounding 
the pit could affect Cottonwood Spring; this is 
described in Section 4.1.4.3. 

Roads and Other Disturbance. Runoff from roads, 
waste rock fill area and other disturbance would be 



collected in diversions and discharged. These 
diversions would be designed for the 1 00-year. 24-hour 
precipitation event. The following permanent 
diversions of surface water would occur. 

♦ The undisturbed area and soil stockpile south of 
the heap leach facility would be diverted and 
discharged at outfall SWO-02. Discharge from 
SWO-01 draining the surface of the SWRD 
would drain to the diversion for SWO-02 and 
runoff from the two areas would be combined 
and discharged to Yarnell Creek. 

♦ The service road east of the heap leach facility 
would be constructed with waste rock and 
runoff would be captured and discharged at 
outfall SWO-05 to Yarnell Creek. 

♦ Runoff from an undisturbed area, the office and 
a soil stockpile area would be permanently 
diverted around the NWRD and discharged to 
Yarnell Creek at outfall SWO-07 below the 
sediment retention structure. 

♦ Runoff from the shop and haul road constructed 
of waste rock would be collected and discharged 
at outfall SWO-08 to Fools Gulch west of the 
mine pit. 

The diversion of storm water runoff should have little 
impact on water quantity because the diversion of flows 
would be near the head of drainage areas. Peak flows 
from these areas may be different because the length 
and slope of the diversion channels differ from the 
undisturbed channels. 

Water Supply Wells. The withdrawal of 
groundwater from Well YMC-04 may have an effect on 
surface water sources within the MSA such as 
Cottonwood Spring, but would not have an effect on 
surface water sources outside of the MSA. The 



4-10 



withdrawal of groundwater from wells TW -01, 2BCD, 
and the Section 28 well field should not affect surface 
water sources in the WRSA. These conclusions are 
based on groundwater level declines surrounding each 
water supply well as predicted from standard pump test 
analysis and groundwater modeling; this is discussed in 
detail in Section 4.1.4.3 and is not repeated here. 

The flow of the two-mile perennial stretch of 
Antelope Creek should not be affected by water supply 
wells YMC-04 and TW-01 . This conclusion is based 
on two reasons. 

♦ The perennial stretch of the creek derives its water 
from the TSV aquifer unit, while the source aquifer 
for water supply wells YMC-04 and TW-01 is the 
Bedrock Complex Aquifer System (BCAS). 

♦ The pumping of groundwater from wells YMC-04 
and TW-01 did not reduce the flow at two 
monitoring locations on the perennial stretch of 
Antelope Creek. The pump tests on wells YMC-04 
and TW-01 are described in Section 4.1 .4.3. 

Surface Water Rights. The BLM grazing 
permittee. William Grantham, holds Stockpond Claim 
38-62572 for livestock watering at Tom Cat Tank. 
This stockpond would be covered by the proposed heap 
leach facility, and the stockpond and associated water 
right would be lost. 

4.1.4.2 Surface Water Effects - Quality 

Heap Leach Facility. In the absence of a 
catastrophic event or failure (such events and their 
impacts are described later in this section), the heap 
leach facility should have minimal impact to surface 
water quality. This conclusion is based on the 
following. 



♦ Storm water runoff originating upgradient of the 
heap leach facilities would not come in contact 
with the leaching facility; this water would be 
captured before it reaches the facility and 
diverted downgradient. Diversion channels are 
designed to accommodate runoff from the 1 00- 
year, 24-hour storm (4.8 inches). 

♦ A topographic divide exists between the MSA 
and towns of Glen Ilah/Yarnell, as described in 
Section 3.2.5.1. If runoff occurred from the 
heap leach facility, it would flow south/ 
southeast, away from Glen Ilah and Yarnell and 
would not impact surface waters in those areas. 

♦ During operations, precipitation falling on the 
leach pad would not leave the site as surface 
runoff. Runoff from the heap leach pad area 
and process ponds would be collected and 
retained in the process ponds. During the Phase 
I construction of the heap leach pad, outfalls 
SWO-03 and 04 would discharge from two 
temporary drainage basin areas. Outfall SWO- 
03, which would discharge waters contacting 
waste rock, would be subject to EPA effluent 
limitation guidelines and would be combined 
with discharge from SWO-04 (subject to visual 
inspection standards) by means of a temporary 
diversion. The drainage areas for both SWO-03 
and 04 would be occupied by the Phase II heap 
leach pad. The process ponds have been 
designed to contain the combined volume of 
normal operating solution, a 24-hour heap 
solution draindown and the 100-year, 24-hour 
precipitation event. The diversion channels 
have been designed to handle runoff from the 
1 00-year, 24-hour precipitation event. 

♦ Sediment in discharges from SWO-03 and 04 
would be controlled by using straw bales, silt 
fences and other best management practices 



4-11 



along the diversion channels. These types of 
control would be adequate for normal 
precipitation, but would likely not be able to 
handle peak flow from larger events. Therefore, 
increased sedimentation would be expected 
during large precipitation events. 

♦ The leached ore would be rinsed with water 
until the water quality standards specified in the 
APP are met, which may take up to three years. 
The detoxification/neutralization process would 
include reducing the weak acid dissociable 
(WAD) cyanide to 0.2 mg/1 and stabilizing the 
pH between 6.0 and 9.0. 

Surface water quality would likely not be 
significantly degraded downstream of the heap leach 
facility under the following catastrophic scenarios. 

♦ A rainfall event greater than the 1 00-year, 24- 
hour storm (4.8 inches). The heap leach ponds 
are designed to have two feet of freeboard. This 
freeboard represents more than 30 percent of the 
volume of a 100-year, 24-hour storm. If the 
ponds were likely to spill, YMC would be 
required by the conditions of the APP to 
detoxify the solution in the storm water pond, 
which would be where discharge would take 
place. If the ponds did spill without 
implementation of detoxifying procedures, the 
water that would spill from the storm water 
pond would be diluted by the volume of 
precipitation collected within the heap leach 
facility. The water that would spill from the 
storm water pond would be diluted by about a 
2: 1 ratio by the precipitation collected within the 
heap leach facility. Spilled solution would then 
be diluted by runoff outside the heap leach 
facility. Dilution would roughly be proportional 



to the surface area of runoff. Upon reaching 
Yarnell Creek, dilution would be about 20: 1 . At 
the confluence of Yarnell Creek with Antelope 
Creek, dilution would be about 35: 1 . Assuming 
a process solution with a concentration of about 
100 mg/1 of free cyanide, the concentration in 
the storm water pond would be 50 mg/1. 
Concentrations of free cyanide would be diluted 
to about 2.5 mg/1 at the confluence with Yarnell 
Creek and about 1 .4 mg/1 at the confluence with 
Antelope Creek. These calculations do not 
consider oxidation or other natural degradation 
that would take place when the process solution 
is mixed with precipitation runoff or is exposed 
to ultraviolet light. Therefore, the impact from 
such a spill would not significantly impact 
surface or groundwater quality. The likelihood 
of a storm event exceeding 4.8 inches in 24 
hours occurring during the 10-year period 
through reclamation of the site is about 10 
percent. 
♦ An earthquake greater than a 250-year return 
frequency. The heap leach pad and solution 
ponds would be stable for seismic events 
exceeding the 250-year recurrence interval 
earthquake. Should a seismic event occur that 
could cause failures in the heap leach facility, 
there would likely not be a total failure of the 
system. Slumping and movement of ore outside 
the perimeter of the leach pad could occur. Any 
movement of the pond embankments would not 
likely result in total release of solution from the 
ponds. Some dilution of the CN solution would 
occur from the storm water pond. In addition, 
any CN solution released would likely be 
attenuated or broken down upon contact with 
other minerals and ultraviolet light. Therefore, 
the impacts from such a spill would not 



4-12 



significantly impact surface or groundwater 
quality. The likelihood of an earthquake of this 
magnitude occurring during the 10-year period 
through reclamation of the site is about four 
percent. 

♦ Loss of solution from the heap leach pad from 
washouts in the compacted fill of the foundation. 
The surface water diversions would protect the 
heap leach facility and would be designed to 
handle the 100-year, 24-hour rainfall event. 
Drainage on the leach pad for all but the 
southeast corner would be toward the center of 
the pad. In these areas, erosion of the 
compacted fill of the heap leach pad foundation 
would not be possible. The only area where 
erosion of the heap leach pad foundation would 
be possible is the east end of the south side of 
the leach pad. This area would have a three-foot 
high perimeter berm. If the perimeter berm were 
breached by an extreme event, the result would 
be escape of solution; the consequences of this 
have been described earlier in this section. 

Waste Rock Dumps. The North and South waste 
rock dumps should have minimal impact to surface 
water quality for the following reasons. 

♦ Storm water runoff originating above the WRDs 
would be captured and diverted around the 
WRDs to outfalls SWO-02 and 07. Runoff in 
contact with the WRDs would be collected and 
discharged from outfalls SWO-01, 06 and 09. 
Sediment retention structures would be 
constructed at SWO-06 and 09. Straw bales, silt 
fences and other best management practices 
would be used along the diversion channels to 
control sediment. The diversion channels would 
be designed to accommodate runoff from the 



100-year, 24-hour storm event (4.8 inches). 
These diversions would be permanent structures 
and would be retained after the site is reclaimed. 

♦ Sediment retention structures below the NWRD 
and SWRD would greatly reduce the amount of 
sediment reaching Yarnell Creek and Fools 
Gulch. These structures are designed to contain 
the 25-year, 24-hour event (3.8 inches) with one 
foot of freeboard. This capacity would allow 
containment of the 10-year, 24-hour event and 
two to three years of accumulated sediment 
under average conditions. Flows exceeding the 
capacity of the structure would be discharged 
through an emergency spillway designed to 
safely pass the peak flow of the 100-year, 24- 
hour event. The sediment structures would be 
inspected annually and sediment removed as 
needed and placed in the WRDs. Since the 
sediment would be derived from the waste rock 
(which would be sampled for acid-forming 
materials), the sediment would not require 
sampling before disposal. 

♦ The embankment of the sediment retention 
structures would be constructed of coarse, 
compacted waste rock and be designed as flow- 
through structures. It is anticipated that water 
contained in the structure would seep into the 
embankment and infiltrate the materials below 
the embankment, but that no water would seep 
through the embankment. No dewatering of the 
structures is planned. However, stored water 
may be used for dust suppression. Discharge 
from these structures would be monitored and 
subject to EPA effluent limitation. 

♦ The sediment retention structures would be 
reclaimed by filling with waste rock. 

♦ Precipitation that falls on the WRDs should not 
emerge as acidic seepage. Batch leach test 



4-13 



results met ADEQ water quality standards 
except for antimony in two samples. Secondary 
standards were exceeded for iron in two samples 
and manganese in one sample. The results of 
geochemical characterization (SMI, July 1997) 
are descrihed in detail in Appendix D. The 
geochemical characterization suggests that the 
waste rock is fairly inert; this means that its 
ability to generate acid is low compared to its 
acid-neutralizing potential. A confirmational 
waste rock geochemical testing program and 
contingency plan would be required under the 
APP during the life of the mine. Waste rock not 
tested as "inert" would be segregated and 
handled differently to prevent acid generation 
from the waste rock placed in the NWRD and 
SWPvD. 

♦ Seepage from the historic tailings may result 
from consolidation after placement of the waste 
rock in the NWRD. Based on geochemical test 
results, the seepage should not be acid forming, 
as there is little evidence of acid generation 
currently, and the tailings have been in place for 
55 years. Batch leach test extract from the 
tailings met state groundwater quality standards 
except for manganese and cadmium in one 
sample and total cyanide in two samples and 
exceeded secondary standards for sulfate, 
copper, manganese and zinc in the two samples 
from the leached ore area upgradient from a 
portion of the upper tailings. The results of the 
batch leach tests are provided in Appendix D. 

♦ Erosion and sedimentation should be reduced by 
a number of structural control features and best 
management practices that would be required by 
the project's Storm Water-NPDES permit, storm 
water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) and 
spill prevention control and countermeasures 



(SPCC) plan. The failure of sediment control 
structures is unlikely. However, large events 
could exceed the capacity of berms. silt fences, 
hay bales and other surface water control 
structures, resulting in increased sedimentation. 
Storms greater than a 10-year, 24-hour event 
could result in flow through the emergency 
spillway of the sediment retention structures, 
depending on the amount of sediment 
accumulated in the ponds. Storms greater than 
a 1 00-year, 24-hour event could cause erosion of 
the spillway and breaching of the embankment. 
This would result in increased sediment loading. 
However, during such an extreme event, 
background sediment levels would be very high, 
and overall impacts would not be significant. 
♦ The WRDs would be regraded, compacted areas 
scarified, topsoil replaced or a suitable growth 
medium established and revegetated. 

Mine Pit. The geochemical characterization of the 
type of rock found in the pit, as described in Appendix 
D, has predicted that acid rock drainage is not likely 
and that any seepage from the pit walls should not 
degrade surface water quality. Therefore, any surface 
water draining from the mine pit should not degrade the 
water quality of Fool's Gulch. 

Runoff from the pit could increase sediment loads 
to Fools Gulch. However, the need for sediment, 
erosion and other surface water control measures 
would be evaluated by YMC at the end of mining. 
Sediment control measures, including a sediment 
retention structure, would be implemented at that time, 
if needed. 

Roads and Other Disturbances. Based on the 
results of the geochemical characterization, storm water 



4-14 



runoff from roads and other disturbance should not 
degrade the quality of surface water. Storm water 
outfalls SWO-05 and 08 would discharge runoff 
collected from roads and other disturbance and would 
be subject to monitoring and EPA effluent limitation 
guidelines. Runoff would be collected via a ditch or 
swale cut along the edge of the roads. Straw bales, silt 
fences and other best management practices would be 
used along the diversion channels, ditches and swales 
to drain roads and areas filled with waste rock to 
control sediment, if required. These areas would be 
compacted and, therefore, would not be expected to 
generate substantial quantities of sediment. Outfalls 
SWO-02, 04 and 07 would be visually monitored, but 
would not discharge waters that had contacted waste 
rock. Increased sedimentation could occur from large 
storm events resulting in peak flows that exceed the 
capacity of the sediment control structures. 

Water Supply Wells. The withdrawal of 
groundwater from the water supply wells would not 
affect the quality of surface water. 

4.1.4.3 Groundwater Effects • Occurrence, Flow 
and Yield 

Heap Leach Facility. The proposed heap leach 
facility should have minimal impact to groundwater 
flow or depth to groundwater underneath and down- 
gradient of the leach facility for the following reasons. 

♦ The heap leach facility would be constructed on 
top of the existing land surface; the underlying 
geology and aquifer system would be 
unchanged. 

♦ There is little groundwater recharge area up- 
gradient of the heap leach facility because the 
facility is near the top of the watershed. The 



groundwater divide that separates the MSA from 
Glen Ilah/Yarnell is discussed in Section 
3.2.5.1. 

The potential for shallow perched groundwater 
beneath the heap leach facility would pose two main 
concerns. First, the development of hydraulic pressures 
could affect the stability of the heap leach pad and 
solution ponds. Second, the potential connection with 
the groundwater system could inhibit detection of 
releases of leach solution until after groundwater had 
been impacted. These conditions are not expected to 
occur for the following reasons. 

♦ Subsurface drains would be installed following 
natural drainage patterns under the heap leach 
pad, pond and ADR plant site. This system 
would drain any near surface groundwater 
beneath the heap leach facility. 

♦ The occurrence of perched groundwater in soils 
above low permeability bedrock layers would be 
due to direct precipitation and would be 
temporary. Infiltration would be reduced by 
construction of the heap leach facility. 

♦ The heap leach facility would be near the top of 
the drainage and near the top of Yarnell Hill. 
The only source of groundwater at the site 
would be infiltrating precipitation. 

♦ As discussed in Chapter 3, infiltration rates in 
the MSA are several orders of magnitude less 
than the hydraulic conductivity. The limiting 
condition for groundwater migration in the 
granodiorite system is the supply of water from 
infiltration. Therefore, except for local areas of 
temporary perched groundwater, infiltrating 
precipitation would be conducted into the 
fracture flow aquifer system and would not 
affect the stability of the heap leach facility. 



4-15 



Waste Rock Dumps. The WRDs would have 
negligible impact on groundwater occurrence, flow and 
yield because: 

♦ The WRDs would be constructed on top of the 
existing land surface; the underlying geology 
would be unchanged. 

♦ There is little groundwater recharge area 
upgradient of the WRDs because they would be 
located near the head of the watershed. 

♦ The design of the WRDs would not prevent 
precipitation from infiltrating the waste rock or 
prevent such precipitation from infiltrating the 
ground under the waste rock. 

♦ Settlement of the historic tailings from 
placement of the NWRD was calculated using 
traditional consolidation theory and the effect of 
seepage from the tailings estimated (SMI, July 
1997). Results indicate seepage from the 
historic tailings to bedrock may increase slightly 
after placement of the NWRD, but should 
decrease to approximately one-half the current 
rate within about three years. Seepage volume 
from the tailings is minor. 

Mine Pit. The mine pit may result in a permanent 
decline in groundwater levels in at least part of the 
MSA, but there should be no impact to groundwater 
outside of the MSA. This conclusion is based on the 
computer model MODFLOW-96. run by Groundwater 
Resources Consultants, Inc. (GWRC) in January and 
February, 1998. This theoretical model, developed by 
the U.S. Geological Survey (Harbrecht and McDonald 
1 996), is commonly used to simulate groundwater flow 
in fractured bedrock systems such as found at the 
Yarnell Mine. Wells YMC-02, 04, 05 and 06 and 
exploration hole YM-97 provide the water level data 
for use in the modeling (see Figure 4-2). 



Using the available groundwater data. MODFLOW- 
96 predicted that the mine pit. excluding pumping from 
Well YMC-04, would result in the impacts listed below 
seven years after the start of mining operations. 

♦ Groundwater levels would decline in all directions 
surrounding the pit. As shown in Figure H-l of 
Appendix H, the area of groundwater drawdown 
(cone of depression) would approximate a 3200 
foot long, 2500 foot wide ellipse. This may have 
some impact on the groundwater divide within the 
MSA. but no impact on the groundwater divide that 
exists between the MSA and the towns of Glen Ilah 
and Yarnell. 

♦ On the northeast side of the pit, groundwater 
drawdown was predicted to be zero at a distance of 
300 feet from the edge of the pit. On the southwest 
side of the pit, groundwater drawdown would be 
zero at a distance of 1 200 feet from the edge of the 
pit. 

♦ Groundwater drawdown would be over 30 feet in 
the southwestern part of the pit, five feet at the 
Wilhite well, and less than 0.5 feet at both Fools 
Gulch and Cottonwood Spring. With the exception 
of the Wilhite Well, springs and wells outside of the 
MSA would not be affected by the pit. 

The results from MODFLOW-96 assumed 16 
inches of annual precipitation and a recharge rate of 
5% (the amount of rainfall and snowmelt that infiltrates 
the ground). The accuracy of MODFLOW-96 with 
respect to its ability to predict groundwater flow and 
levels in the MSA is discussed in the next subsection 
"Water Supply Wells". Should pit dewatering 
adversely affect the Wilhite well, mitigation has been 
proposed and is described later in this chapter. 



4-16 





HAUL ROAD 


EXISTINO GROUND 
SURFACE . 

" / PROPOSED 


PIT 


BOTTOM 






I 


(sw) 

(OFFSET 250' E> ff 


WILHITE WELL 
(OFFSET BSO" NW) 

47B3'- H"""^ *•»• 

SURFACE 




1 4517' 
4072'^p 1/97 




I I 


I I i 


I -»JL— aXn . ' 




I 


I 


I 





— -+SOO s 



I OOO 1 1 OO 1 200 1 300 1 400 



«■ sooo 




04 
OFFSET OOO* NW) 



4900 S 

i 

4700 



2500 2600 2700 2800 ' 2SOO 3000 31 OO 




(MEAN SEA LEVEL) 



DATE MEASURED 



VERTICAL EXAOOERATIOI* 



FIGURE 4-2 

PROJECTED 

GROUNDWATER LEVELS 

IN RELATION TO MINE 

PIT ELEVATIONS 



The ponding of groundwater in the mine pit during 
and after the life of the mine should be minor for the 
reasons discussed below. 

♦ The quantity of groundwater available in the 
fractured granodiorite of the MSA is limited, and 
the groundwater that does exist will not easily or 
quickly flow into the pit. This is discussed in detail 
in Section 3.2.5. and confirmed by exploration 
drilling in the proposed open pit area. Only 10 of 
the 96 exploration drill holes in the pit area 
encountered groundwater above or near to the final 
backfilled pit elevation of 4,640 to 4,660 feet. In 
fact, only 19 of the 96 exploration holes drilled 
between elevations 4,550 and 4,825 feet 
encountered any groundwater. 

♦ After the completion of mining activities, surface 
drainage out of the pit and into Fools Gulch would 
be facilitated through two methods: a) the pit 
would be partially backfilled to an elevation of 
4,640 to 4,660 feet, and b) a drainage channel of 
slope 0.5-2 percent would be established along the 
pit bottom. 



wells YMC-01 and the Wilhite well, located 1,100 feet 
to the east and 1 .600 feet to the southwest, respectively. 
Second, groundwater levels in the MSA were simulated 
using the theoretical model MODFLOW-96. 
Assuming a constant 15 gpm pumping rate for Well 
YMC-04, the model predicted the following impacts 
seven years after the start of pumping. 

♦ The cone of depression (area influenced by 
pumping up to the two-foot drawdown contour) 
would extend from Well YMC-04 approximately 
3,800 feet to the southeast along Yarnell Creek, 
3000 ft. to the southwest towards Fools Gulch, and 
3.000 feet to the northwest (Figure H-2 of 
Appendix H). 

♦ Groundwater levels are predicted to decline 30-50 
feet in the southern part of the mine pit, 20 feet at 
Well YMC-04, 1 5 feet at Cottonwood Spring. 5 feet 
at the Wilhite Well, and less than 2 feet at Fools 
Gulch Spring. 

♦ Within two years after the end of pumping of Well 
YMC-04, groundwater levels would return to 
within 0.5 feet of original levels. 



Water Supply Wells. The withdrawal of 
groundwater from Well YMC-04 may impact springs 
and wells in the MSA, but would not impact water 
sources outside of the MSA. The withdrawal of 
groundwater from wells TW-01, 2BCD, and the 
Section 28 well field should not impact water sources 
in the WRSA. Well YMC-04, located in the MSA, will 
be discussed first. Two methods were used to predict 
the effect of the pumping of this well on nearby water 
sources. First, a pump test was conducted on Well 
YMC-04. Groundwater was pumped from Well YMC- 
04 for 10 days; this did not reduce the flow or water 
levels of streams, springs, and wells in the WRSA. 
The two closest water sources to Well YMC-04 are 



The above results from MODFLOW-96, which 
included drawdown from the mine pit, assumed 16 
inches of annual precipitation and a recharge rate of 
5%. The accuracy of the predictions from 
MODFLOW-96 depends on two factors: 1 ) how well 
actual precipitation and recharge during the life of the 
mine matches the input used in the model, and 2) the 
ability of the model to simulate the movement of 
groundwater in the fractured granodiorite of the MSA. 
The results of the pump test and modeling by 
MODFLOW-96 do not agree concerning the impacts of 
pumping groundwater from Well YMC-04. The pump 
test suggests no impacts to nearby water sources, while 
MODFLOW-96 does predict impacts to nearby water 



4-19 



sources. For the following reasons, the results of the 
model with respect to the pumping of Well YMC-04 
and pit dewatering are considered to represent a "worse 
case" prediction of actual groundwater drawdown in 
the MSA: 

♦ One of the hasic assumptions of MODFLOW-96 is 
probably not valid in the geology of the MSA. 
MODFLOW-96 assumes that the movement of 
groundwater approximates the flow of water 
through porous media, such as sand and gravel. The 
pump test on Well YMC-04 suggests that the 
movement of groundwater in the fractured 
granodiorite of the MSA is not the same as through 
porous media. The 10-day pumping of groundwater 
from Well YMC-04 did not cause a decline in the 
water level in nearby observation wells and surface 
waters; this is an indication that the fractures in the 
granodiorite of the MSA are not well-connected and 
groundwater does not move freely through them. 

♦ The actual recharge rate may be greater than the 
value of 5% used in the model. Studies in 
fractured granite near Payson, Arizona showed a 
recharge rate of 15% (Southwest Ground-Water 
Consultants, Inc., 1997). If the actual recharge rate 
in the fractured granodiorite of the MSA is 10% or 
greater, predicted drawdown from MODFLOW-96 
would be much less than previously described. 

♦ Groundwater levels from only five wells were 
available as input into the model; as a result, 
calibration of the model to actual groundwater 
levels in the MSA was not done. 

The conclusion that the pumping of groundwater 
from Well TW-01 should not affect nearby water 
sources is based on two reasons. 



♦ The two observation wells, TW-02 and YMC-03, 
showed no decline in groundwater levels as a result 
of the pump test on well TW-01 . Wells TW-02 and 
YMC-03 are located 2,000 feet east and 2,200 feet 
southeast of well TW-01, respectively. This 
suggests that groundwater drawdown would not 
extend more than 2,000 feet from Well TW-01 , and 
there are no perennial surface water sources or 
active wells within 2.000 feet of Well TW-01. 

♦ There is some question whether Well TW-01 would 
produce enough water to be a useful water supply 
source during the life of the mine. The estimated 
sustainable yield from the well is only 10-15 gpm., 
based on a 3.5 day pump test in which yield from 
the well declined from 73 gpm to less than 30 gpm. 

The pump test was terminated after 3.5 days 
because the water level in TW-01 dropped to near 
the pump intake and the bottom of the water- 
producing fractures. 

The conclusion that the pumping of groundwater 
from Well 2BCD and the Section 28 well field should 
not affect nearby water sources is based on a number of 
reasons, discussed below. 

♦ Most of the perennial surface water sources in the 
WRSA are over 1 ,000 feet higher in elevation than 
the groundwater levels in Well 2BCD and the 
Section 28 well field. 

♦ Most of the perennial surface water sources in the 
WRSA are located over two miles from Well 2BCD 
and the Section 28 well field. 

♦ Pump test analysis using the Theis equation 
predicted that the decline in groundwater levels (i.e. 
drawdown) surrounding each well would not 
interfere with known water sources, with the 
possible exception of the well at the Arrowhead 
Cafe. Projected theoretical drawdown was up to 



4-20 



2.0 miles from Well 2BCD and 3.0 miles from the 
Section 28 well field; at those distances, the 
drawdown would be less than one foot. These 
results assume that a) Well 2BCD is pumped at 50 
gpm, and the five wells in the Section 28 well field 
are pumped at a combined total of 50 gpm b) there 
is no groundwater recharge. There are no active 
wells within 3.0 miles of Well 2BCD; the closest 
active well to the Section 28 well field, the 
Arrowhead Cafe, is 2.5 miles west. Well 2BCD 
was pumped for 34 days in June-July of 1 996, and 
the Section 28 well field was pumped for 10 days in 
August/September 1996. None of the observations 
wells, 1.00 to 3.33 miles away, showed a response 
as a result of the pump tests. Predicted water level 
declines surrounding Well 2BCD and the Section 
28 well field are shown in Appendix H (Figures H- 
3 and H-4). 

It is impossible, however, to be certain that no wells 
in the WRSA would be affected by the YMC water 
supply wells. This is because pumping all of the water 
supply wells for eight to nine years could result in more 
area wide water level decline than can be predicted by 
short-term individual pump tests. Therefore, mitigation 
measures have been recommended on Table 4-3 for the 
following two wells most vulnerable to a drop in water 
level as a result of pumping from the water supply 
wells. 

♦ The Wilhite Well, approximately 1,600 feet 
southwest of Well YMC-04. 

♦ The well that supplies the Arrowhead Cafe, 
approximately 2.5 miles west of the Section 28 
well field. 



4.1.4.4 Groundwater Effects - Quality 

Heap Leach Facility. YMC would be required to 
obtain an APP from the ADEQ for the heap leach 
facility. An APP requires a project-specific design 
intended to protect groundwater at a particular mining 
site. 

A Discharge Impact Area (DIA) analysis was 
completed to meet APP requirements. The analysis 
assumes leakage from the heap leach and solution 
ponds and estimates the time and distance for pollutant 
concentrations to be diluted to levels indistinguishable 
from background concentrations. 

Assuming that YMC meets the requirements of the 
APP and that there are no catastrophic events as 
described in Section 4.1.4.3, the heap leach facility 
should have minimal impact on groundwater quality. 
This conclusion is based on several major factors, 
discussed below. 

The engineering design of the heap leach facility, as 
described in detail in the MPO and APP application 
(Facility Design Report), greatly reduces the potential 
for groundwater contamination. 

♦ The heap leach facility is designed to be a zero- 
discharge facility; this means it is designed to 
contain all fluids within the facility, including 
rainfall from the 100-year. 24-hour storm event. 
The leach pad would be fully lined with a high- 
density polyethelene (HDPE) liner and would 
contain a subsurface drain system and a leak 
detection system. The pregnant and barren 
solution ponds would have two synthetic liners 
with a leak detection system between them. 
Sections 2.1.4.2 and 2.1.4.4 of Chapter 2 



4-21 



describe the containment design features of the 
heap leach facility in detail, and the APP would 
contain provisions for leak detection and 
contingency planning. 

♦ Groundwater quality at Well YMC-03, which is 
downgradient of the heap leach facility, would 
be monitored quarterly during the life of the 
mine and annually for five years after mine 
closure. Monitoring after five years following 
mine closure may or may not be required by 
ADEQ; this depends largely on the water quality 
results during the required monitoring period. 

The local geology, summarized in Section 3.2.5 of 
this document and described in detail in the 
Hydrogeologic Baseline Report by GWRC should 
minimize impacts to groundwater. The low hydraulic 
conductivity and transmissivity of the rock units in the 
MSA means groundwater migrates slowly 
downgradient of the leach facility. As described in 
Section 3.2.5.1, most of the MSA consists of the 
BCAS. The BCAS contains relatively small amounts 
of groundwater in joints, fractures and faults; the 
hydraulic connections between these spaces in the rocks 
are poor, and the movement of groundwater is slow. 

A characterization of groundwater quality 
downgradient of the heap leach facility was completed 
as part of the APP process. The DIA analysis 
estimated the impact on groundwater quality using 
dilution and mass balance calculations. The major 
assumptions used were: 

♦ There is leakage of process solutions through 
the synthetic liner through 0.448 inch (1 1 mm) 
diameter holes; there is one hole per acre of liner. 



♦ The average saturated constant head above the 
synthetic liner is one foot for the leach pad and 
1 feet for the solution ponds. 

♦ The bedding layer directly under the synthetic 
liners is one foot thick and has a saturated 
hydraulic conductivity of 10 6 cm/sec. 

♦ The hydraulic conductivity of the underlying 
granodiorite is 5 x 10" 4 to 3 x 10" 6 cm/sec (0.009 
to 1 .5 ft/day), and the effective porosity is 0.04. 

♦ Total dissolved solids (TDS) was modeled, and 
the initial process solution had a TDS of 5.000 
mg/1. 

♦ There is no geochemical attenuation of the 
process solution after leakage through the liners. 

♦ Monitoring well YMC-03 has a mean 
background TDS concentration of 61 6 mg/1. 

♦ The drainage area upgradient from Well YMC-03 
is 75 acres, of which 36 acres is the heap leach 
facility and 39 acres is above the leach facility. 

♦ The annual precipitation is 20 inches, and one 
inch infiltrates into the ground. 

♦ The topography downgradient of the leach 
facility is five to 40 percent. 

Using the above-listed assumptions, the DIA 
analysis results are: 

♦ TDS would exceed background levels under the 
entire footprint of the heap leach pad and 
solution ponds. 

♦ TDS would exceed background levels for 
approximately 350 feet east of the heap leach pad. 

♦ The travel rate for pollutants would be five to 40 
feet per year, which translates to 40 to 320 feet 
during the eight-year life of the mine. 

The following should be noted concerning the DIA 
analysis described above and illustrated in Figure 4-3: 



4-22 




j&» subsurface drain (BENEATH leach pad fill) 

" LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM (BENEATH SYNTHETIC LINER IN LEACH PAD UNER SYSTEM) 
DIRECTION OF FLOW ABOVE SYNTHETIC LINER 
ESTIMATED DISCHARGE IMPACT AREA 



♦ The DIA could be larger or smaller, depending 
upon how well the assumptions used in the 
dilution and mass balance equations are met. 
Additional information on the DIA is contained 
in the Facility Design Report (SMI, 1997a). 

♦ The area of groundwater pollution does not 
represent an area of equal pollutant 
concentration or the limit of pollutant migration. 
It only represents the area in which TDS might 
exceed the natural background level. Standard 
dilution and dispersion methods for flow 
through porous media are not applicable to the 
fractured bedrock of the proposed heap leach 
site. As a result, simple dilution and mass 
balance calculations were used. 

Groundwater quality, as well as surface water 
quality, would likely not be significantly degraded 
downstream of the heap leach facility under the 
following catastrophic scenarios. 

♦ A rainfall event greater than the 100-year, 24- 
hour storm (4.8 inches). 

♦ An earthquake greater than a 250-year return 
frequency, which could cause failures in the 
heap leach pad and solution containment ponds. 

♦ Loss of solution from the heap leach pad from 
washouts in the compacted fill of the 
foundation. 

The likelihood of occurrence and the impacts from 
these catastrophic events was discussed in Section 
4.1.4.2. 

Waste Rock Dump. The impact to groundwater 
quality downgradient of the two WRDs should be 
minimal for the following reasons. 



♦ Storm water runoff upgradient of the WRDs 
would be captured and diverted around them. 
Seepage through the waste rock would be 
limited to precipitation that falls on the waste 
rock. 

♦ Geochemical characterization of waste rock 
suggests that it would not generate acidic water. 
Batch leach test results met ADEQ water quality 
standards except for antimony in two samples. 
Secondary standards were exceeded for iron in 
two samples and manganese in one. Details of 
the geochemical characterization of the waste 
rock is provided in Appendix D. 

♦ The water quality of Well YMC-04, at the 
proposed site of the NWRD, is fairly good as 
described in Section 3.2.6. The water quality in 
this well appears to represent actual field 
conditions that result from percolation of 
groundwater through the same type of rock that 
would be stored in the waste rock dumps. 

♦ Groundwater quality downgradient of the 
SWRD would be monitored at Well YMC-02. 
Groundwater quality downgradient of the 
NWRD would be monitored at Well YMC-01. 
These wells will be monitored quarterly during 
the life of the mine and annually for five years 
after mine closure. Monitoring after five years 
following mine closure may or may not be 
required by ADEQ; this depends largely on the 
water quality results during the required 
monitoring period. 

♦ An ongoing waste rock geochemical 
characterization program would be required 
under the APP during the life of the mine. 
Waste rock within 20 feet of either side of the 
ore zone would be sampled and analyzed 
quarterly. A composite sample of blast hole 
cuttings collected during the quarter would be 



4-25 



analyzed. If an alert level was exceeded, YMC 
would identify where the waste rock was placed 
and isolate it by surrounding it with 20 feet of 
inert material on all sides, if possible. 

♦ In the NWRD area, seepage from the historic 
tailings may temporarily increase. However, 
there is little evidence of acid generation, and 
the tailings have been in place for 55 years. 
Batch leach extract tests have met ADEQ 
groundwater standards for all parameters except 
manganese and cadmium in one sample and total 
cyanide in two samples. Secondary aquifer 
standards were exceeded for TDS. sulfate, 
manganese and zinc in the two samples from the 
crushed ore area. 

The waste rock geochemical characterization in the 
APP is a reactive rather than a preventative plan and is 
somewhat difficult to implement considering the 
proposed operating methods. Waste rock would be 
dumped in a single lift which will reach heights up to 
225 feet. As such, it would be very difficult to isolate 
any non-inert waste rock by surrounding it with 20 feet 
of inert material. Therefore, additional geochemical 
monitoring of a predictive nature is recommended as a 
mitigation measure in Section 4.1.4.7. 

Mine Pit. No significant impacts to groundwater 
quality are expected from the mine pit for two reasons. 

♦ Little ponding of groundwater is expected to 
occur in the mine pit, as described in Section 
4.1.4.4. 

♦ Geochemical characterization of waste rock 
suggests that it will not generate acidic water. 
This is described in Appendix D. 



Water Supply Wells. The withdrawal of 
groundwater from these wells would not affect 
groundwater quality. The effect on groundwater 
quantity is discussed in Section 4.1.4.3. 

4.1.4.5 Waters of the United States 

The proposed action would not affect the delineated 
wetlands along Fools Gulch. Theoretical drawdown 
modeling using MODFLOW-96 indicates pumping 
from Well YMC-04 and pit dewatering could lower 
water levels at Cottonwood Spring by about 15 feet. 
This could reduce or eliminate the flow of Cottonwood 
Spring, or the spring could reappear further 
downstream. Any of these scenarios could adversely 
affect the Yarnell Creek delineated wetland. 
Groundwater modeling, described in Section 4.1.4.3, 
predicts that water levels would return to within 0.5 
feet of pre -mining levels two years after pumping 
ceased. Therefore, any impacts to Cottonwood Spring 
and the Yarnell Creek wetland would be temporary and 
would not require permanent mitigation. Therefore, 
monitoring and a contingency plan have been 
recommended as mitigation. 

Table 4-2 summarizes effects to Waters of the U.S. 
from the proposed pipelines and mine facilities in the 
MSA. These effects are discussed below. 

The west water supply pipeline corridor would 
cross and sometimes follow short segments of 33 dry, 
sandy desert washes. About 536 feet of waters of the 
U.S. would be affected by the west pipeline. The east 
pipeline would cross an eight-foot segment of one 
desert wash. Where the water supply pipelines would 
cross desert washes (waters of the U.S.), the pipeline 
outer diameter would be 3.5 or 4.5 inches. Where the 
pipelines cross shallow, wide desert washes with 



4-26 



Table 4-2 
Impacts to Waters of the U.S. 



Affected Area 


Mine Facility 


Summary of Impact 


Desert Washes 


West Pipeline Corridor 


The pipeline would cross 33 desert washes totaling ahout 
537 feet of crossings, hut no adverse impact would he 
expected. 


Desert Washes 


East Pipeline Corridor 


The pipeline would cross an eight-foot segment of one 
desert wash, hut no adverse impact would be expected. 


Unnamed drainage to 
Yarnell Creek 


Heap leach and solution 
ponds 


About 1,200 feet of Waters of the U.S. would be disturbed; 
1 ,000 feet could be reclaimed after mining, leaving 200 
feet permanently affected. 


Yarnell Creek 


NWRD and sediment 
retention structure 


About 900 feet of stream classified as Waters of the U.S. 
would be permanently buried. 


Fools Gulch 


SWRD and haulroad 


Approximately 450 feet of Waters of the U.S. would be 
permanently filled. 



gradual sloping banks. HDPE flexible pipe would be 
used to conform to the wash configuration. The 3.5- or 
4.5-inch outer diameter pipe would lay in the channel 
bottom and would not impede flow or cause ponding of 
water. Where the pipelines would cross deeper washes 
with steeper banks, rigid sections of pipe would be 
used to span the bed and bank of the channel. These 
rigid sections would be sufficient in length to ensure 
that the pipeline would not fall into the channel if 
movement of the pipeline were to occur. The pipeline 
would cross washes approximately perpendicular to the 
channel's lengthwise axis. Concrete thrust blocks 
would be used as necessary when adapting pipe to 
different piping systems and at critical points to be 
determined during construction. Large boulders along 
the pipeline corridors would also be used to stabilize 
pipe segments. No adverse impact to waters of the 
U.S. would be expected from pipeline construction and 
operation. 

Within the MSA, the proposed facilities would 
affect an estimated 2.550 feet of streambed classified 
as waters of the U.S. Therefore, the COE would 



require a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit. 
Projected disturbances to waters of the U.S. within the 
MSA are as follows: 

♦ The heap leach and solution ponds would 
disturb approximately 1.200 feet of waters of 
the U.S. in an unnamed drainage to Yarnell 
Creek, 

♦ the NWRD and sediment retention structure 
would permanently fill approximately 900 feet 
of stream delineated as waters of the U.S. in 
Yarnell Creek, and 

♦ the sediment retention structure for the SWRD 
and the haul road would permanently fill 
approximately 450 feet of waters of the U.S. in 
Fools Gulch. 

Upon reclamation of the solution ponds, 
approximately 1.000 feet of waters of the U.S. in the 
unnamed drainage to Yarnell Creek would be re- 
established, leaving a total of 1 .550 feet permanently 
affected within the MSA. 



4-27 



Sections of the permanent diversions could be 
enhanced with pools and vegetation to mitigate the 
impacts to waters of the U.S. The Section 404 permit 
would require a mitigation plan; hence, no additional 
mitigation is recommended at this time. 

4.1.4.6 Impact Mitigation 

Well YMC-04 has not been proposed as a 
groundwater monitoring compliance point because of 
the lack of its completion record. However, because of 
its location, YMC-04 should be included as an 
observation well. Its location beneath the proposed 
NWRD is ideal for the early detection of any potential 
groundwater quality impacts. In addition, it would be 
pumped extensively for water supply to the mine. 
Groundwater potentially impacted by precipitation 
infiltrating the overlying waste rock would be induced 
to flow into the well. Monitoring YMC-04 would 
provide a record of changes in water quality beneath 
the NWRD. However, since it is unknown how the 
well was completed, it should not be considered a 
compliance monitoring point. 

The project design includes no specific mitigation 
at this time for the potential impacts to Cottonwood 
Spring and the associated wetland, the Wilhite Well 
and the Arrowhead Cafe Well that could result from 
the pumping of groundwater from water supply wells 
and pit dewatering. It is recommended that automatic 
recording devices be placed on the Wilhite Well, 
Arrowhead Cafe Well, Well YMC-04. Well YMC-01 
and Cottonwood Spring to monitor water levels in the 
wells and flow at the spring. YMC would be required 
to submit for approval by BLM a monitoring plan and 
contingency mitigation plan for these water sources. If 
monitoring indicates that pumping and dewatering are 
adversely affecting the Wilhite and Arrowhead Cafe 



wells, mitigation could include replacing or deepening 
the existing wells, trucking water to a storage tank, 
connecting to another water supply or other measures 
that replace or supplement the water supply. However, 
replacement of water supplies for private wells is a 
potential mitigation measure that BLM would not have 
the authority to require; any effort to mitigate or replace 
private water supplies would be voluntary and not 
enforceable by the BLM. Mitigation for Cottonwood 
Spring and the associated wetland could include 
temporary augmentation of water from other sources, 
development of another water source, replacement of 
the wetland or a shut-down of Well YMC-04. 

There has been no proposed mitigation for the loss 
of the water right on Tom Cat Tank. The holder of the 
stockpond claim would need to contact the Arizona 
Department of Water Resources to withdraw the "38" 
filing. Following mine reclamation, the use of water 
supply well TW-01, drilled by YMC on public land, 
could provide a water source for livestock and wildlife. 

YMC would develop and submit to BLM for 
approval a preventative geochemical monitoring plan 
that would identify non-inert waste rock prior to 
placement in the waste rock dumps. The plan should 
include identification of areas with the highest potential 
to exceed the alert levels identified in the APP, a 
sampling plan for these areas as well as routine 
sampling of other waste rock. The plan may take into 
account dilution of non-inert waste rock with inert 
waste rock based on mining methods and pit and dump 
geometry. The plan may propose a minimum 
concentration and volume for each constituent 
monitored, and any values about these minimum 
thresholds would require special handling. The plan 
would include special handling and isolation of non- 



4-28 



inert materials in order to prevent adverse impacts to 
surface or groundwater. 

Mining and ore processing plans and environmental 
permitting programs for the proposed project have heen 
designed by YMC with consideration of the existing 
hydrological environment and potential effects to water 
resources. These elements, which would serve to 
mitigate potential adverse effects of the proposed 
project, are summarized in Table 4-3. However, many 
elements could contribute to effects which cannot 
currently be projected. These consist of design and 
construction elements and natural processes, such as 
precipitation and erosion. To account for this 
uncertainty, additional mitigation measures could be 
incorporated into the project. Additional mitigation 
measures for water resources, as they relate to design 
features, are summarized in Table 4-4. 

4.1.4.7 Residual Effects 

Drainage patterns would be permanently affected by 
the presence of the heap leach facility, WRDs and other 
proposed facilities. The proposed Yarnell pit would be 
partially backfilled to establish drainage. The pit could 
continue to collect water from storm water and 
groundwater seepage. A small sediment settling 
structure may be constructed if necessary. The steep 
reclaimed slopes of the waste rock dumps and the heap 
leach may contribute increased sediment to surface 
water after reclamation. Waters of the U.S. would be 
filled by the WRDs and altered by construction and 
reclamation of the solution ponds. Tom Cat Tank 
would be permanently lost. 



4.1.5 VEGETATION 

4. 1.5. 1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

The proposed action would disturb about 1 82 acres 
within the MSA as shown in Figure 4-4. Mining 
activities would result in effects to chaparral and desert 
vegetation types, COE-designated Waters of the U.S. 
and plants protected by the Arizona Native Plant Law. 
As proposed, the project would not impact any 
federally-listed threatened or endangered plants, plants 
designated by the BLM as sensitive or wetland 
vegetation. Wetlands and Waters of the U.S. are 
discussed in Section 4. 1 .4.6. 

The largest impact would remove 69.2 acres of oak 
shrubland. Other vegetation types disturbed include 
oak shrubland-burned (32.9 acres), oak shrubland-north 
slope (32.7 acres), turpentine bush/wait-a-minute bush 
shrubland (25.4 acres) and mountain mahogany 
shrubland (16.3 acres). Vegetation along the water 
pipeline corridors would only be trimmed or selectively 
removed to facilitate installation and operation of the 
four-inch water pipeline. A few cottonwood and 
Goodding willows around the old pond (Tom Cat 
Tank) would be covered by the heap pad. There are no 
plans to salvage these trees, and they would be lost. 

Sixteen species of plants (see Appendix G, Table 
G-l ) protected by the Arizona Native Plant Law occur 
on the mine site and along the water pipeline corridors. 
These cacti, nolinas. yuccas, agaves and shrubs would 
be salvaged according to Arizona statutes. 

4.1.5.2 Impact Mitigation 

Approximately 147 acres of MSA disturbance 
would be reclaimed with the seed mix shown in Table 



4-29 



TABLE 4-3 
Mitigation Features Incorporated into Proposed Project Plans 



Potential Issue Mitigation Feature 


Leakage or failure of the Heap 
Leach Facility to contain 
leaching solutions 


• Designed to be a closed-circuit, zero-release facility meeting BADCT. 

• Incorporates leak detection. 

• Notification of the BLM and ADEQ, stopping process solution 
application above the affected leak detection drain, assessment of water 
source, comparing pumping rate from the leak detection sump with 
stoppage of solution application and a decision among BLM, ADEQ and 
YMC on continued solution application on other parts of the heap. 

• Groundwater monitoring performed under APP requirements. 

• Contingency plans to handle potential emergency situations. 

• Identify borrow source and quantity for composite liner system and 
estimate potential seepage through composite liner system. 

• Document settlement estimates of fill under full heap load and make 
revisions as necessary. 

• The heap leach facility is designed to meet prescriptive design criteria 
outlined in the ADEQ BADCT manual ( 1 996). 

• QA/QC testing and inspection during construction per APP. 

• Underdrain system would be constructed beneath facility. 

• Detailed contingency plans if leakage is detected per APP. 


Releases of leaching solutions 
or storm water runoff to 
surface water 


• Adequate storage capacity to contain storm water runoff and draindown of 
solution in the event of a power failure. 

• Diversion of upgradient drainage around the facility. 

• Neutralization of the heap leach pile during closure and reclamation. 

• NPDES storm water discharge permit requirements. 

• Backup power source to maintain solution levels in ponds. 

• Freeboard included in solution pond design. 

• Non-discharging facility designed to meet or exceed ADEQ requirements 
and BADCT design standards. 

• Reclaim NWRD after site is filled with waste rock, prior to 
closure/reclamation of project. 

• Construct sediment retention structures at toe of WRDs. 

• Monitor Fools Gulch and Cottonwood Springs per APP. 

• Design channels for minimum grade necessary to prevent erosion. 

• Design armor for erosion control in susceptible areas. 


Spills of hazardous materials 


• An SPCC Plan will be implemented. 

• Reactive substances are segregated. 

• Groundwater monitoring performed under APP. 


Ponding of water in the mine 
pit 


• Excess water collected during operations and used for dust suppression. 

• Partial backfilling and final grading to facilitate drainage out of the pit and 
construction of a settling pond, if needed. 


Adequacy of water supply and 
its impact on nearby ground- 
water users or the magnitude 
and duration of flows to 
springs and streams 


• Adequate water storage for high-demand summer months. 

• Groundwater supply derived from multiple sources, thus providing a 
secure and sustainable water supply. 

• Well permits have been acquired with the exception of YMC-04 where 
water leases are pending. 

• Aquifer testing demonstrated that nearby groundwater wells and surface 
water flows will not be significantly impacted. 

• The groundwater storage will rebound to pre-pumping conditions after the 
cessation of operations and reclamation. 

• Pipeline crossings of desert washes would conform to wash or span wash 
usine rieid pine. 



Source: MPO (YMC 1995 and 1996) and Facility Design Report (SMI, 1996 and 1997a) 



4-30 




MINE SITE STUDY AREA 

DISTURBED AREAS 

VEGETATION TYPES MAP 



TABLE 4-4 
Additional Recommended Mitigation Measures 



Design 
Feature 


Potential Impact 


Mitigation 


Heap Leach 
System 


Leakage due to liner tear; blocking of solution 
flow channel from heap to ponds, from instability 
of initial heap lift. 


♦ Confirm stability of the initial lift of ore placed 
on pad; modify loading plan or pad grading if 
stability is an issue. 


Potential leakage to groundwater from the 
concrete sump. 


♦ Review current design of concrete sump for 
addition of leak detection system. 


Layout of the 

Leach Pad and 

Heap Loading 

Sequence 


Increased surface area disturbance. 


♦ Determine haul routes and loading patterns 
and final design of runoff controls from roads 
and disturbed areas outside of pad limits; 


Waste Rock 
Dumps 


Acid rock drainage or metals leaching from the 
infiltration of precipitation through the waste rock 
materials. 


♦ Develop an operational monitoring plan for 
continued geochemical characterization of 
waste rock at a frequency that will enable early 
identification of non-inert material; 

♦ Develop contingency plans to special handle 
identified non-inert material. 


Groundwater 
Monitoring Plan 


No monitoring of distinctive water type near 
mineralization and within NWRD. 


♦ Add Well YMC-04 to the groundwater 
monitoring program as an observation point. 


Mine Pit and 
Water Supply 


Impact to water quantity in Wilhite or Arrowhead 
Cafe wells or Cottonwood Springs. 


♦ Automatic recording of the Wilhite Well, 
Arrowhead Cafe Well. Wells YMC-04 and 
YMC-01 and Cottonwood Spring to monitor 
water levels in the wells and flow at 
Cottonwood Spring. 

♦ Mitigation to replace water supply if adversely 
affected. 



2-6. This seed mix includes shrubs, yuccas, nolinas, 
grasses and forbs common to the five chaparral 
vegetation types disturbed. 

Approximately 9.3 acres of the 37.7 acres of the 
Yarnell pit would be reclaimed under the proposed 
action. The remaining 28.4 acres of the pit and seven 
acres of permanent roads would not be reclaimed. The 
reclaimed areas of the heap leach facility and north and 
south waste rock dumps would include 60.3 acres of 
the relatively flat top surfaces and 46. 1 acres of the 50- 
percent side slopes. Additionally, approximately 31 .2 
acres of roads, building sites, sediment control facility 
and other miscellaneous areas with relatively gentle 
slopes would be reclaimed. 



The proposed seed mix in the reclamation plan has 
the potential to return the relatively flat top landscape 
of the heap leach facility, NWRD and SWRD and other 
miscellaneous areas to a chaparral vegetation type. 
However, the process would be slow and would require 
hundreds of years to return to present levels of density 
and diversity. Reclamation of the steep 50-percent side 
slopes would be more difficult and it may not be 
possible to create a chaparral vegetation type similar to 
those in the flatter areas. Plant species diversity and 
total vegetation cover would be limited by the steep and 
unstable slopes. Accessible pit benches (described in 
Section 4.1.3.3) would be used to seed with native 
species and selected native shrubs would be 
transplanted. Plants with the greatest potential to 
colonize these steep slopes would be the annual and 
biennial forbs of the project site as listed in Appendix 



4-33 



G. These native and introduced forbs have the greatest 
potential to colonize disturbed habitats and, over long 
periods of time, could create favorable conditions for 
the perennial species. 

Impacts to plants protected by the Arizona Native 
Plant Law would be mitigated by salvaging all 
protected plants from areas to be disturbed. An area 
near the topsoil stockpile would be dedicated and 
maintained as a plant nursery. When the mine would 
begin reclamation, the salvaged plants would be re- 
planted. 

4.1.5.3 Residual Effects 

The proposed action would result in long-term 
residual effects through loss of vegetative resources. 
Affected areas cannot be fully returned to their pre- 
disturbance condition, although proposed reclamation 
activities would lessen effects through revegetation and 
would return portions of the disturbed areas to a mature 
chaparral vegetation type over hundreds of years. 
About 35 acres of vegetation would be permanently 
lost due to the inability to reclaim most of the pit and 
permanent roads. Overall, residual effects would not 
be significant. None of the affected plant communities 
have a limited acreage and distribution in this region. 



4.1.6 



WILDLIFE 



Issues include impacts on wildlife, wildlife habitats, 
threatened and endangered species and potential 
wildlife mortality from exposure to hazardous 
substances. 



4.1.6.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Principal wildlife impacts of the proposed Yarnell 
Project would be the long-term to permanent loss of 
habitat value on disturbed areas, direct mortality from 
mine and ancillary facility development and operations, 
short-term wildlife displacement from disturbance areas 
and secondary mining effects. The impact on wildlife 
would be severe within the proposed area, but minor 
when considered in a larger landscape area. Although 
the Yarnell Project would permanently alter about 1 82 
acres of habitat, the affected habitats are not unique 
and species affected are generally common with 
widespread distributions. The only anticipated impact 
to 13 threatened, endangered and sensitive species 
potentially present on the MSA would be habitat loss 
and potential desert tortoise and chuckwalla mortality 
along a portion of the pipeline corridor from Well 
2BCD to the MSA. Mature tortoises are unlikely to be 
present inside the mine perimeter fence. Such mortality 
would be limited to occasional individuals 
inadvertently killed over the life of the mine and should 
not adversely affect local population viability. 

Habitat Loss. The mining operation would directly 
destroy 1 82 acres of wildlife habitat within the MSA, 
80 percent of which is either oak shrubland or 
mountain mahogany habitat. These two habitat types 
support the greatest diversity and abundance of wildlife 
on site. It could take centuries for these areas to re- 
establish and develop the successional maturity, 
diversity and density that is now present. Even then 
there would likely be a net loss in the acreage of these 
shrub types on the post-mining landscape as some 
remaining landforms, aspects, slopes and soil types 
(e.g., the open pit) would provide unsuitable growing 
conditions. Although only about four percent of the 
project area has been previously disturbed by mining, 



4-34 



some of these habitats are of high value to the wildlife 
community. The historic mine adits provide habitat for 
a low number of species (mostly bats) that might not 
otherwise occur on site. These tunnels and other 
natural topographic features would be permanently lost. 

Many acres of habitat similar to the MSA exist in 
the Weaver Mountains and most displaced wildlife 
would likely be accommodated in undeveloped 
adjacent areas. The project would permanently reduce 
habitat values at the proposed mine site due to the 28- 
acre open pit, seven acres of permanent roads, the loss 
of historic mine adits and natural topographic features. 
Undisturbed habitats within the MSA would remain 
viable for many species. Nevertheless, it could take 
hundreds of years to restore the vegetative diversity and 
complexity of disturbed areas to pre-disturbance levels. 

In addition to the direct mining-related loss of 
wildlife habitat, physically undisturbed habitats 
(roughly 100 acres) on and adjacent to the site would 
be fragmented, fenced and/or disturbed by various 
mining activities to the extent that various wildlife 
species would be displaced for at least the duration of 
mining. The degree of displacement, or the width of 
the buffer zone that is established, would depend upon 
the seasonal sensitivity of wildlife and the tolerance 
and ability of individual species to adapt to this type of 
disturbance. For example, most reptiles, small 
mammals and many birds would use suitable habitat 
immediately adjacent to. and even inside, mining areas. 
Species with larger home ranges, low tolerance for 
disturbance or human proximity and high mobility, 
such as mule deer, javelina and most mammalian 
predators, would be displaced the furthest from mining 
areas, although the effects of that displacement would 
likely be minor as the MSA comprises only a small 
portion of their overall home ranges. Nevertheless, 



habitats in the surrounding area are already occupied 
with their own wildlife communities and not all 
wildlife displaced from the project site would be 
accommodated without effect. Reproduction, territorial 
defense, foraging and other life functions of displaced 
and surrounding wildlife could be adversely affected 
through increased competition for the resources 
required for survival. 

Direct Mortality. Development of the proposed 
Yarnell Project would result in the direct mortality of 
some less mobile species. Herpetofauna and burrow- 
dwelling small mammals would be most susceptible to 
direct mortality. Mine-roosting bats would potentially 
be killed unless the historic mine adits were cleared of 
bats and sealed prior to development. Additional direct 
impacts to wildlife would occur during the operating 
life of the mine as some wildlife are unavoidably struck 
on haul roads and pipeline corridors or achieve access 
to cyanide solutions. Off-site impacts would be limited 
to wildlife mortality on State Highway 89. Mortality 
would be severe on impact areas, but insignificant on 
wildlife community function in the context of the 
surrounding landscape. 

Cyanide-related animal mortality is a significant 
issue at heap leach-mining operations. Open water is 
highly attractive to desert wildlife. This attraction can 
be fatal unless wildlife is restricted from cyanide-laden 
ponds, ditches and pools. The vast majority of wildlife 
mortality associated with heap leach facilities at other 
mines consists of birds, with reptiles and small 
mammals comprising the remainder. However, bats are 
probably under-represented in these totals as they may 
drink cyanide leach solutions, fly away and die 
undetected. At other heap leach operations in the 
western U.S., almost one-half of the total wildlife 
mortality is associated with solution ditches, less than 



4-35 



one-quarter at ponds and less than one-third atop the 
heap(BLM 1994a). 

YMC's proposal to use drip, rather than sprinkler, 
emitters for the distribution of leach solutions has been 
effective at other heap leach operations in reducing 
wildlife mortality (primarily avian) resulting from 
cyanide solutions which pool in small depressions atop 
the heap (BLM 1994a). The sides of the leach pad 
would also be sloped inward to limit solution exposure. 
Nylon netting is the standard method used to preclude 
wildlife exposure to cyanide solutions in the ponds. 
The effectiveness of netting varies with mesh size, 
pond and ditch configurations, access requirements, 
securement, wind, maintenance frequency, availability 
of alternate potable water sources, etc. While netting 
can be highly effective in reducing wildlife mortality, 
its effectiveness varies with the above factors and 
nowhere is it 100 percent effective. Other exclusion 
methods, including floating covers and floating plastic 
balls on ponds, enclosing solutions in pipes rather than 
open ditches and the use of sonic guns to scare away 
wildlife, have increased effectiveness, but at much 
higher operational costs. 

A six-foot-tall chain-link fence topped with three 
strands of barbed wire is also proposed around the heap 
and solution ponds and ditches to effectively block 
access by medium and large terrestrial wildlife. 

It is anticipated that the present proposal, employing 
properly monitored and maintained drip emitters, one- 
inch mesh nylon netting and a chain-link/barbed-wire 
fence, would be effective in minimizing wildlife 
exposure to cyanide, but it would not be 100 percent 
effective. Low numbers (< several dozen) of small 
lizards, passerine birds and bats may still access 
cyanide solutions through the nylon mesh (lizards) or 



through small gaps in netting. The success of 
mitigation measures (see Section 4.1.6.2) can only be 
documented over time. If measures are not effective at 
minimizing wildlife exposure to toxic solutions, YMC 
would be required to take further steps to eliminate 
wildlife mortality. 

Lighting. Outdoor lighting of some project 
facilities may only have discernible effects on bat use 
of the area, since most wildlife will be displaced from 
project facilities by unsuitable habitat and chronic 
mining activities. Those nocturnal species persisting 
on the partly illuminated margins of mining operations 
should not experience significant changes in foraging 
success or predation rates because such species 
primarily rely on olfactory and auditory senses to meet 
life requirements. Some species of bats would be 
attracted to mining areas by insect concentrations (e.g., 
moths) attracted to the lights. This may provide an 
insignificant beneficial effect. Increased bat foraging 
on the MSA is not anticipated to result in an increase in 
mine-related bat mortality. 

Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species. 

With the exception of lowland leopord frogs at 
Cottonwood Spring, none of the 13 threatened, 
endangered and sensitive species of concern potentially 
present in the area were detected within the MSA. 

Lowland leopard frogs have been observed at 
Cottonwood Spring in the MSA and in Antelope Creek 
several miles downstream from the mine. Small areas 
of seasonally suitable habitat are sometimes present 
along upper Yarnell Creek and Fools Gulch. All 
mining areas are above occupied and potential leopard 
frog habitat. If a water table drawdown of up to 15 feet 
were to occur, the amount of available water and the 
suitability of the area as leopard frog habitat would be 



4-36 



reduced. Mitigation measures involving Cottonwood 
Spring are summarized in Table 4-4. 

Desert tortoises have been observed just south of 
the MSA. While the project area is considered to be 
outside of tortoise habitat, individuals may occasionally 
occur in the marginal habitat on site. Such individuals 
could be killed by mining activities or maintenance and 
monitoring along the pipeline. Such potential mortality 
would be greatest during the six-year operating life of 
the mine and decline in the reclamation phase. 
Occupied category II and III desert tortoise habitat 
occurs on private and state land in the central portion of 
the western water supply corridor. Of the 3.19 acres of 
Category II habitat, 1 .89 and 1 .29 acres occur as state 
and private land, respectively. Of the 6.13 acres of 
Category III habitat, 0.63 and 5.5 acres occur as state 
and private land, respectively. 

Potential impacts to the tortoise and its habitat 
resulting from development, maintenance and 
decommissioning of the water supply pipeline include 
direct mortality, temporary habitat loss and minor 
habitat fragmentation (young tortoises only). With the 
implementation of required and recommended 
mitigation/compensation measures (see below), the 
proposal's net effect on the desert tortoise should be 
neutral, although there would be a small net loss of 
habitat. Anticipated mortality effects should have no 
discernible effect on local or regional population 
viability. Mitigation measures include, but are not 
limited to: 

♦ pipeline installation during seasons when 
tortoises are less active, 

♦ a biologist monitoring pipeline installation, 

♦ excluding tortoises from potentially hazardous 
areas. 



♦ providing earthen ramps to facilitate tortoise 
movements over pipelines, 

♦ educating mine employees and 

♦ compensating for residual project impacts on the 
desert tortoise and its habitat on affected BLM 
and other land remaining after the 
implementation of mitigation measures. 

Marginally suitable but potential habitat for the 
Arizona Southwestern toad occurs in Antelope Creek 
several miles downstream from the MSA. This habitat, 
whether occupied or not, would likely remain viable 
unless some catastrophic solution pond failure occurred 
or if groundwater pumping reduced surface water flows 
through these sections of the creek. Neither event is 
likely, and mining activities should not affect the 
Arizona Southwestern toad or its habitat. 

Possible chuckwalla scat was located in apparently 
suitable habitat on private land in Section 21 of the 
main pipeline corridor. If this species is present, 
individual chuckwallas could be killed by pipeline 
corridor blading maintenance or monitoring activities 
in those presently undisturbed portions of the corridor. 

It is unlikely that any of the remaining threatened, 
endangered and sensitive species (listed in Table 3-12 
and discussed in Section 3.3.2.2) are present on site or 
within the project's zone of influence because of (1) 
unsuitable habitat, (2) the site location is above the 
species' known elevational range and/or (3) the site 
does not represent particularly attractive habitat (i.e., 
for peregrine falcon). The proposed action would 
result in "no effect" to listed and proposed species and 
would meet provisions of the Endangered Species Act, 
as amended. 



4-37 



Other Wildlife. Impacts to deer and javelina should 
be limited to displacement from areas within and 
adjacent to mining areas. Some smaller animals might 
nocturnally use habitats within the mine's barbed wire 
perimeter fence. Potential hunting opportunities 
surrounding the project area should not change as a 
result of the proposed operation. Following mining, 
wildlife would recolonize disturbed areas as habitats 
develop and species' habitat affinities allow. 

Reptiles and small mammals are discussed together 
because of similar habitat utilization and susceptibility 
to impacts. Members of these groups are terrestrial and 
spend a significant part of their lives in burrows (where 
they could be caught underground in attempts to escape 
mining activities), making them susceptible to direct 
mortality during mine development and some mine 
operations. While many of the individuals present in 
disturbance areas would be unavoidably killed, 
principally during the development phase of the mining 
process, they are species that are common and 
widespread. Reptiles and small mammals outside of 
mining areas and a narrow buffer zone would be 
largely unaffected by mining. 

The low number of bats on site would be affected 
by the destruction of roosts and, for those that survive 
mine development, by reduced foraging habitat and 
possible exposure to cyanide solutions. Although most 
historic mine structures in the MSA would be 
eliminated, there are abundant historical mine workings 
in the general area. 

Birds seasonally present on the MSA would be 
precluded from impact areas and narrow surrounding 
habitats for the life of the operation. They would 
return as habitat affinities and reclamation progression 
allows. If mine development occurs outside the spring 



period, when eggs and nestlings are present, there 
should be no direct avian mortality associated with the 
project, other than the occasional bird hit by vehicles of 
commuting mine personnel on regional, high-speed 
roads or those birds which circumvent measures 
restricting wildlife access to cyanide solutions. If mine 
development occurred during the nesting season and if 
impact areas were not stripped of vegetation before the 
nesting season began, mining activity could result in 
the loss of recruitment for those birds nesting on-site. 

Local avian and terrestrial predators whose home 
ranges overlap the MSA would be affected by the 
proposed action due to a reduced or eliminated prey 
base within habitats disturbed, eliminated or excluded 
by mining. The reduced prey base would be total 
within impact areas and take a century or more for 
diversity and abundance values to approach former 
levels. However, impacts to most of the larger 
predators should be minor since the disturbance area 
represents only a small portion of their overall home 
range. The MSA supports a relatively high prey base 
that is similar to much of the identical surrounding 
terrain in the Weaver Mountains. As a result, loss of 
prey may require the expansion of predator home 
ranges which overlap the impact area. However, 
proposed mining should not significantly affect the 
local predator population. 

4.1.6.2 Impact Mitigation 

To lessen impacts, the following mitigation 
measures would be required as a condition of 
permitting the proposed operation. 

Mitigation measures to reduce cyanide exposure to 
wildlife include: 



4-38 



♦ YMC would use one-inch mesh nylon netting to 
completely cover all wildlife access to open 
cyanide solutions. Netting of similar mesh has 
proven very effective at excluding wildlife at 
other mine sites (Hallock 1992). Solutions in 
collection ditches should be placed in collection 
pipes or the ditches either filled with rock or 
concrete with netting. Use of drip emitters and 
maintenance of the heap leach is expected to 
minimize or eliminate the small pools and 
puddles atop the heap that are often associated 
with sprinkler emitters and which may also be 
exposure pathways to wildlife mortality. 

♦ YMC would install, around the base of the heap 
leach security fence, a 24-inch wide, 1/2-inch 
hardware cloth skirt buried six inches below the 
ground surface, or to bedrock, with the 
remaining 1 8 inches extending up the bottom of 
the security fence. The purpose of this skirt is 
to block or restrict non-flying, small wildlife 
access to the cyanide solution ditches and 
ponds. The functional integrity of the hardware 
cloth fence would be maintained across the 
bottom of all gates in the security fence. The 
integrity of this skirt would be maintained by 
YMC for the life of the project and checked 
monthly. 

♦ YMC would regularly survey the condition of 
the heap leach, ditches, ponds and equipment 
installed to minimize wildlife mortality for 
optimal functioning. Deficiencies will be 
corrected immediately. 

♦ YMC would survey the perimeter of all open 
cyanide solution ditches and ponds once per 
week to quantify and remove any dead animals. 
The survey would be conducted using standard 
procedures, on the last business day of each 
week, such that the survey will represent 



wildlife mortality for that week. Any wildlife 
mortalities would be categorized as follows: 
lizard, snake, bird, bat, mammal and total. If 
possible, animals would be identified as to 
species. Results would be reported to the BLM 
quarterly, or immediately in the event of unusual 
incidents, to determine if this level of mortality 
is acceptable or if additional preventative 
measures are required. 

Mitigation measures to avoid and reduce impacts to 
desert tortoise in the western pipeline corridor and 
compensation for residual impacts are listed below. 
Measures applicable to private and state land are 
recommended, based on those required on BLM land. 

♦ Blading from the Section 28 well field pipeline 
platform for pipeline installation and/or all- 
terrain vehicle (ATV) maintenance access 
should occur between November 1 and February 
28 when tortoises are less active and when 
tortoise/construction encounters would be lower. 

♦ In private and state Category II habitat, where 
new surface disturbance is required to blade a 
platform for the pipeline and/or ATV access, it 
is recommended that a qualified biologist would 
be on site monitoring clearance to avoid 
potential site-specific impacts to desert tortoises 
and their habitat. Such avoidance might include 
moving a tortoise out of harm's way using 
procedures defined by the AGFD. making minor 
adjustments in the pipeline route to avoid 
tortoise den or shelter sites, etc. 

♦ Security fences around wells/well fields, water 
storage tanks, pumping stations and other 
ancillary water supply facilities in category II 
and HI tortoise habitats should enclose as small 
an area as practical to reduce habitat loss. Such 



4-39 



fences should be fitted with 24-inch wide. 1/2- 
inch hardware cloth, attached to the fence such 
that the hardware cloth is buried six inches 
below the ground surface, or to bedrock, with 
the remaining 1 8 inches extending up the bottom 
of the security fence. The purpose of the 
hardware cloth is to prevent tortoise access to 
potentially hazardous areas and where they 
could become trapped inside the fence. The 
functional integrity of the hardware cloth fence 
should be maintained across the bottom of all 
gates in security fences. The integrity of all 
tortoise fencing should be maintained by YMC 
for the life of the project and checked monthly. 

♦ Within category II and III tortoise habitats, 
earthen ramps high enough to cover the water 
pipeline from the Section 28 well field and 
provide tortoise crossing points over the 
pipeline should be spaced approximately every 
100 yards along the pipeline. Each ramp would 
be 10 feet wide. It is envisioned that ramps be 
developed using hand-held shovels. 
Furthermore, ramp material should come from 
previously disturbed portions of the pipeline 
route to avoid additional habitat disturbance. 
Locally buried sections of the pipeline would 
provide the same crossing function and could be 
used in lieu of ramps. 

♦ YMC employees (including contractors and 
subcontractors) who, as part of their job 
description or duties, may encounter desert 
tortoises (particularly maintenance personnel 
along the pipeline from the Section 28 well 
field) would receive desert tortoise awareness 
training annually to educate them on desert 
tortoise issues. Such employees would receive 
such training within two weeks of employment 
at the mine. The awareness program would be 



provided by the BLM or a private contractor 
acceptable to the BLM. At a minimum, the 
program would include the following topics. 

► Occurrence and identification of desert 
tortoise and general ecology 

► Sensitivity of the species to human 
activities 

► Legal protection for desert tortoises 

► Penalties for violation of federal and 
state laws 

► Project features designed to reduce the 
impacts to desert tortoises and promote 
the species' long-term survival 

► Reporting requirements 

► Procedures for moving tortoises if 
necessary. 

♦ There should be no storage of trash and/or food 
items along the pipeline corridor from the 
Section 28 well field to reduce the attractiveness 
of the area to tortoise predators. 

♦ YMC employees (et al., as above) should strictly 
limit their activities and vehicle use to the 
mining area and established routes of travel to 
reduce habitat disturbance. 

♦ YMC employees (et al., as above) should 
inspect under parked vehicles when along or 
immediately adjacent to desert tortoise habitat 
along the pipeline corridor from the Section 28 
well field immediately prior to moving the 
vehicle(s). If a desert tortoise is beneath the 
vehicle (using it for shade), the employee should 
use the procedure described in the awareness 
training course to avoid harm to the tortoise. 

♦ In the event that a desert tortoise is injured or 
killed as a result of mine-related activities, YMC 
would report the circumstances to the BLM 
within two working days. At the direction of the 
BLM, YMC would implement additional 



4-40 



preventative measures to preclude future injury 
or death to desert tortoises. 



Mitigation measures to reduce direct mortality of 
migratory birds: 



To compensate for residual project impacts on the 
desert tortoise and its habitat after implementation of 
the above mitigation measures, the BLM would require 
or recommend implementation of the following 
measures. 

♦ The BLM recommends that Category II desert 
tortoise habitat on state land affected by the 
pipeline corridor from the Section 28 well field 
be compensated following Desert Tortoise 
Compensation Team 1991 guidelines. The deed 
to any compensatory purchased land or 
compensatory funds would be 
donated/deposited to the BLM or other 
appropriate third party within one year of 
commencement of Yarnell Mine development 
activities following Desert Tortoise 
Compensation Team 1991 guidelines. 



Mitigation measures to reduce direct mortality of 



bats: 



♦ Prior to mine development, bats should be 
excluded from historic mine workings within the 
impact area by covering mine entrances with 
chicken wire. The timing of this exclusion will 
depend upon the mine development schedule 
and bat ecology. There are no maternity roosts 
on site that require consideration; however, 
exclusion should be planned around migration 
and hibernation. Mine entrances will be 
covered after evening emergence or after 
checking and cleaning shorter, safer adits. 



♦ Site clearance including, but not limited to, 
vegetation and topsoil stripping and topsoil 
stockpiling on undisturbed habitat, during initial 
mine development and during phased mine 
expansion, should avoid the time period when 
migratory birds are nesting and may have 
vulnerable eggs or young. "Take" (per 
provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) 
would be avoided by clearing undisturbed 
habitats outside the spring bird nesting season. 
With few exceptions, none of the nesting birds 
known or suspected on site would be expected 
to attempt nesting on an area stripped of its 
vegetation and topsoil. Therefore, vegetation 
and topsoil would be stripped from areas to be 
mined within the current year before nesting 
commences. If that occurs, mining may 
commence in that area, and in any other 
previously disturbed areas, during the bird 
nesting season. In the event such stripping does 
not occur on or before the bird nesting season, 
disturbance to the proposed mining area should 
not occur until after fledging, usually by the end 
of May, when young-of-the-year from nests on 
the future mining area should have developed 
physically to where they could avoid any heavy 
equipment. 

4.1.6.3 Residual Effects 

The proposed Yarnell Project would affect wildlife 
by eliminating 1 82 acres of habitat, causing some direct 
mortality and displacing wildlife from affected areas 
until habitat slowly succeeds to pre -disturbance values. 
This would take hundreds of years in most areas. 



4-41 



Potential impacts from wildlife exposure to cyanide 
would be greatly reduced by proposed protection 
measures, although these measures would not be 100 
percent effective. 



4.1.7 



AIR RESOURCES 



Issues associated with air resources include the 
potential levels and effects from emissions of dust and 
potential transmission of fumes, chemicals and cyanide. 
Public health issues associated with Hantavirus and 
Valley Fever were also raised during scoping and are 
discussed in this section because these illnesses are 
transmitted by airborne means. 

Emissions and subsequent off-site concentrations of 
all project-related air pollutants are compared to 
applicable federal and state air quality standards and 
guidelines in this analysis. 

4.1. 7.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

The emissions inventory used in the following 
analyses is consistent with the inventory presented in 
the Class I Air Installation Permit Application 
submitted by YMC to ADEQ. All air quality modeling 
is based upon this inventory. 

Description and Quantification of Emissions 
Sources. Mining and processing activities at the mine 
would cause emissions of particulate matter, quantified 
in this report as particulate matter less than 10 microns 
in diameter (PM HI ). In addition, combustion of diesel 
fuel in both mobile and stationary sources would emit 
the combustion pollutants PM UI . nitrous oxides (NO x ), 
carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ) and 
volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 



The primary source of process PM„, emissions 
would be the ore crushing circuit. Crushers, screens 
and conveyor transfer points would all be sources of 
process PM, n . Non-process sources of particulate 
emissions include extracting materials by drilling and 
blasting, ore and waste rock handling by mine 
equipment, hauling of material on unpaved haul roads 
and wind erosion from ore and waste rock dumps. 

Combustion sources at the proposed project would 
emit small quantities of PM 1( „ as well as the gaseous 
pollutants NO x , CO, SO, and VOCs. Power for the 
crushing circuit would be provided by an on-site, 
diesel-fueled generator with 820-kilowatt (kW) 
capacity. A second generator with 365-kW capacity 
would be located at the processing circuit. (An 
additional 365-kW generator at the processing circuit 
would serve as a backup generator.) Non-process 
combustion emissions would be emitted from mobile 
diesel equipment used to move, load, haul and unload 
material. Quantification of SO : emissions for all diesel 
combustion sources is based on the assumption that 
diesel fuel burned on site would contain a maximum of 
0.05 percent sulfur by weight. 

Ore processing would also produce small quantities 
of emissions of hydrogen cyanide gas (HCN) and 
mercury (Hg). Formation of HCN is highly dependent 
on leaching solution pH, cyanide concentration and on- 
site variables, such as temperature and evaporation rate. 
Since fugitive HCN emissions may occur due to 
evaporative loss, these emissions could occur in the 
gold recovery areas as well as at the leach pad. Losses 
of HCN to the atmosphere result in decreased 
efficiency of gold recovery. As a result, economic 
incentives play a role in minimizing emissions of HCN. 



4-42 



The carbon regeneration kiln would heat spent 
carbon to drive off impurities (including Hg) in order 
to re-use the carbon in the gold refining circuit. The 
dore furnace raises the temperature of the gold- 
impregnated material beyond the point at which Hg 
volatilizes (357° F), and therefore, Hg may be emitted 
from this source. 

Gasoline and diesel fuel would be stored on site in 
aboveground steel tanks. Fuel storage would result in 
a small quantity of emissions of VOCs due to 
evaporative loss from the storage tanks. 

An on-site assay laboratory would include an area 
for sample preparation with equipment for drying, 
crushing, splitting and pulverizing ore samples. The 
maximum daily activity rate for sample pulverization is 
only 0.2 tons per day, and PM,„ emissions from the 
assay laboratory are expected to be minimal. 

A listing of all projected Yarnell Project emission 
sources and their associated pollutants is presented in 
Table 4-5. The table is divided into process and non- 
process/mobile emissions and identifies the likely 
emission sources associated with the mine's operation 
(i.e., crushing, leaching, hauling, etc.). 

Activity Rate Assumptions. The maximum daily 
and annual activity rates for the project's mining and 
processing operations are summarized in Table 4-6. 
These rates are based on information provided by YMC 
in the MPO. For each emission category, maximum 
activity rates and. therefore, maximum emission rates 
have been assumed. 

Emissions from construction activities would be 
similar in nature and spatial orientation to the expected 
emissions from mining activities. Daily activity rates. 



in terms of tons of material moved, during construction 
would be less than or equal to daily rates for the mining 
operation. Dust emissions (PM 10 ) from construction 
traffic on site and from movement and placement of 
earth and products of combustion (PM „„ NO x , CO, SO, 
and VOCs) from diesel- and gasoline-burning mobile 
equipment would be the primary emissions from 
construction activities. Emission controls during 
construction would consist of watering/chemical 
application to haul roads, stockpiles and grading areas. 
Construction emissions and projected air quality 
impacts are not quantified separately in this section. 
However, off-site impacts from construction emissions 
would be less than or equal to impacts during mining 
operations. Therefore, the projected impacts associated 
with the mining operation serve as maximum projected 
impacts due to construction activities. 

Also, the altered landscape (e.g., removal of 
overburden and construction of waste rock dumps) 
associated with construction activities at the project site 
would not influence local wind pattern or dispersion in 
a significant way. The height of the proposed waste 
rock dumps is insignificant when compared with 
surrounding terrain. In addition, the creation of the 
mine pit would not affect local wind patterns in a 
significant manner. 

Quantification of Emissions. The estimated 
project emissions are based on control measures 
(described in the Impact Mitigation Section) and 
activity rates described above. In addition, emissions 
are calculated using emission factors from a variety of 
sources. Emission factors for PM ln , NO x . CO, SO : and 
VOCs are taken from the fifth edition of the EPA's 
Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors (AP-42, 
January 1995), with two exceptions. The emission 
factor for blasting has been obtained from an EPA 



4-43 



TABLE 4-5 
Air Emission Sources 



Source 



Emission Species 



Type* 



Process: 

Ore Processing 

Crushing (primary, secondary)* 

Load/unload ore 

Lime silo - loading/unloading 

Lime feeding at crusher 

Power Generation 
Diesel combustion 

Fuel Storage 
Load/unload tanks 
Storage of gasoline/diesel 

Gold Refining 
Propane furnace 

Laboratory 
Pulverizing samples 

Non-Process/Mobile: 

Mining 

Drilling 

Blasting 

Load ore/waste to truck 

Unpaved road travel 

Unload waste to storage 

Waste dump erosion 

Mobile sources 



Ore Processing Area 

Unload ore 

Ore storage pile erosion 

Leach Pad 
Load/unload ore 
Unpaved road travel 
Leaching solution evaporation 
Leach pad erosion 

Gold Refining 

Leaching solution evaporation 



PM H1 

PM„, 
PMjo 
PM 10 

PM, n , NO,, CO, SO,, VOCs 



VOCs 
VOCs 



PM„„ NO x , CO, VOCs, Hg 

PM,„ 



PM 10 

PM I0 , NO x , CO, SO,, VOCs 

PM 10 

PMio 

PMio 

PM 10 

PM ln .NO v ,CO, SO,, VOCs 



PM, 

PM, 



PM, 
PM„, 
HCN 

PM„, 



HCN 



Non-fugitive 

Non-fugitive 

Non-fugitive 

Fugitive 

Non-fugitive 



Fugitive 
Fugitive 



Non-fugitive 
Non-fugitive 



Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 

Fugitive 
Fugitive 

Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 
Fugitive 

Fugitive 



Fugitive - denotes those emissions which could not reasonably pass through a stack, chimney, vent or other functionally- 
equivalent opening. 
Emission factors for crushing systems incorporate emissions from the crusher and associated conveyors and screens. 



TABLE 4-6 
Maximum Activity Rates 



Operation 


Daily 
(tons) 


Annual 
(tons) 


Mining - ore 
Mining - waste rock 
Crushing 
Leaching 


6,480 
15.120 
15.600 
15.600 


1 .200.000 
2,695.000 
1,200.000 
1 .200.000 



Region VIII Interim Policy Paper on the Air Quality 
Review of Surface Mining Operations (EPA 1979). 
The NO x emission factor used to calculate emissions 
from the generators is derived from information 
provided by the manufacturer (Caterpillar). In general, 
AP-42 emission factors for surface-level fugitive dust 
sources from mining projects are considered to be 
conservative and represent maximum emission 
estimates. 

EPA emission factors are not available for HCN 
emissions from the leach pad; therefore, emissions are 
quantified based on site-specific parameters and 
monitoring data from a similar mining operation. EPA 
emission factors are also not available for emissions of 
Hg from the carbon reactivation kiln and dore furnace. 
Emissions from these sources are estimated using the 
emission factors developed from stack testing results 
from a similar mining operation, which have been 
accepted by the Nevada Bureau of Air Quality. 

Special considerations and assumptions in the 
quantification process include the following. 

♦ Emissions associated with waste rock dumps are 
divided between the NWRD and SWRD in 
proportion to the relative capacities of the 
dumps. The ratio of NWRD to SWRD capacity 
is 3.7 to 7.5. 

♦ Particulate emissions due to erosion at the waste 
rock dumps have been calculated assuming that 



one-third of the total disturbed area would be 
active at any given time. Particulate emissions 
due to erosion at the leach pad have been 
calculated assuming that one-sixth of the total 
disturbed area would be active at any given 
time. 

♦ S0 2 emissions from the diesel generator are 
calculated assuming that 100 percent of the 
sulfur in the diesel fuel is converted to S0 2 and that 
diesel fuel contains 0.05 percent sulfur by weight. 

Table 4-7 summarizes the maximum daily, 
emissions, and Table 4-8 summarizes the maximum 
annual emissions from the proposed Yarnell Project. 

Description of Modeling (Dispersion Modeling) 
and Quantification of Impacts. The Industrial Source 
Complex Term (ISCST3) dispersion model, version 
95250, was used to estimate air quality impacts from 
the proposed project. This model is recommended by 
the EPA for site-specific analysis of complicated 
sources and is appropriate for sites with fugitive 
emissions and rolling terrain. ISCST3 estimates the 
depletion of a particular plume as particulate matter is 
deposited to the ground as the plume travels downwind 
from the source. Long-term modeling is performed 
with ISCST3 using the "period" averaging option. One 
year of meteorological data collected at the project site 
is used as model input. In addition, emission sources 
and receptor locations serve as input to the model. 



4-45 



TABLE 4-7 

Summary of Maximum Daily Emissions 

(Units in Pounds) 



Source 
Category 


PM 1() 


NO x 


CO 


so 2 


VOCs 


HCN 


Hg 


Process 
















Controlled 


249 


609* 


202 


13.9 


28.0 


0.0 


0.088 


Mobile 


51.9 


846 


352 


21.6 


47.9 


0.0 


0.0 


Non-Process 
















Controlled 


927 


320 


1.260 


37.6 


2.7 


26.7 


0.0 


Total 
















Controlled 


1.228 


1 .775 


1.814 


73.1 


78.6 


26.7 


0.088 



^NO x impacts were modeled assuming no control (i.e.. no ignition retard control on generators). 
Uncontrolled process NO x emissions are 775 pounds/day. 



TABLE 4-8 

Summary of Maximum Annual Emissions 

(Units in Tons) 



Source 
Category 


PM 10 


NO x 


CO 


SO, 


VOCs 


HCN 


Hg 


Process 
















Controlled 


11.5 


111* 


36.9 


2.5 


5.1 


0.0 


0.0083 


Mobile 


6.7 


110 


45.8 


2.8 


6.2 


0.0 


0.0 


Non-Process 


Controlled 


71.5 


16.6 


65.2 


1.9 


0.5 


4.86 


0.0 


Total 
















Controlled 


89.7 


237.6 


148 


7.3 


11.8 


4.86 


0.0083 



f NO t impacts were modeled assuming no control (i.e., no ignition retard control on generators). 
Uncontrolled process NO x emissions are 141.4 tons/year. 



The modeling boundary and emission sources for 
the Yarnell Project are shown in Figure 4-5. Emission 
sources are categorized by emission type (point source, 
area source and volume source). The generators and 
the crushing and processing circuits are classified as 
point sources with stacks. They are modeled using 
estimated exhaust stack parameters. Mining activities 
occurring within the pit, waste dumps and leaching area 
are classified as area sources. Haul roads are 
categorized as volume sources and are divided into 



discrete segments to distribute emissions along the haul 
road. 

As shown in Figure 4-5, the crusher is labeled PI 
and the 820-kW generator is labeled P2. The 365-kW 
generator, labeled P3, and the processing circuit, 
labeled P4, are at the ADR plant. Area sources are 
represented as rectangles labeled A 1 through A5. The 
idealized rectangles for the waste dumps, A4 and A5, 
and the leach pad, A3, that are used in the model are 



4-46 





? 1 1 

s I S 

ill 



smaller than the actual areas of these sites. The reason 
for this is that only a portion of the area of these sites 
would be active at a given time, and the particulate 
emissions due to erosion at these sites have been 
calculated with this in mind. The pit has been 
represented by two rectangles, Al and A2, designated 
as the "southern" and "northern" sections of the pit. 
Volume source locations consist of points along three 
haul roads and one access road. These points are 
labeled Rl through R13 in Figure 4-6. Some segments 
of these roads overlap. 

The modeling impact analyses for the pollutants 
NO x , CO, S0 2 , HCN and Hg were performed with the 
receptor grid shown in Figure 4-7, a 7.5-minute map of 
the mine and nearby communities. The receptor grid 
consists of receptors along the modeling boundary and 
out several hundred meters north, south, east and west. 
The horizontal resolution of the majority of the grid is 
100 meters, but a grid with a resolution of 50 meters 
has been embedded in the coarser grid near the 
locations of predicted maximum impacts for HCN. 
Additionally, four receptors have been located in 
Yarnell and two in Glen Hah. 

A separate receptor grid has been used to model 
PM 1(I impacts because the maximum predicted 24-hour 
PM,„ concentration does not occur in the vicinity of the 
fine resolution section of the grid in Figure 4-5. The 
receptor grid used to model PM, impacts is shown in 
Figure 4-7. This grid also includes sections with 50- 
meter resolution near the locations where 24-hour and 
annual PM„, concentrations are predicted to be the 
highest. 

Impact Estimates. The maximum estimated 
pollutant impacts from the proposed Yarnell Project are 
presented in Table 4-9. Also included are the baseline 



concentrations of each pollutant (if available), the 
location (with respect to the project property) of the 
receptor at which the maximum impact occurs and the 
applicable state and federal standards. The dispersion 
modeling results for each pollutant of concern are 
discussed in the following sections. These results 
demonstrate that pollutant concentrations decrease 
rapidly with distance from the project site and that 
impacts are not expected to exceed any applicable 
ambient air quality standards or guideline values. 

This impact analysis assesses effects to air quality 
by comparing predicted impacts due to emissionsources 
at the Yarnell Mine to state and federal ambient air 
quality standards (Table 4-9). The federal ambient air 
quality standards have been established to reflect the 
latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind 
and extent of all identifiable effects on public health or 
welfare which may be expected from the presence of 
such pollutant in the ambient air in varying quantities. 
State ambient air quality standards must be at least as 
stringent as the federal standards. The latest scientific 
knowledge that is used by the EPA in establishing 
appropriate air quality standards includes health studies 
that consider subpopulations (the elderly, children, 
asthmatics, etc.). 

PMj • Estimated ambient 24-hour PM I0 
concentrations are presented in two ways in this 
analysis. The worst-case estimate of maximum 24-hour 
ambient PM I(I concentrations is based on adding the 
predicted 24-hour impact at the maximum receptor to 
the maximum 24-hour background concentration 
measured at the site. As the discussion below details, 
although this method does represent the worst case 
maximum condition, it is unlikely to occur given the 
differences in meteorological conditions that produce 
maximum predicted impacts and maximum background 



4-49 



TABLE 4-9 
Maximum Estimated Air Quality Impacts 



Pollutant 


Averaging 
Increment 


Maximum 
Impact 
ug/m 3 


Baseline 
ug/m 3 


Total 

Concentration 

ug/m 3 


Location 


NAAQS 

ug/m 3 


Other 
Applicable 
Standards 

ue/m 3 


PM,„ 


24-hour 


121.8 


28 


149.8 01 


North 


150 


150 ,3) 




24-hour 


121.8 


10.2 


132.0 (2) 


North 


150 


150 <3) 




annual 


23.5 


10.2 


33.7 


South 


50 


50 ,3) 


NO x 


annual 


40.2 


6.0 


46.2 


South 


100 


100 (3) 


CO 


1 -hour 


1.534 


2,280 


3.814 


West 


40,000 


40,000 ,3 > 




8-hour 


412.9 


2,280 


2,693 


North 


10.000 


10.000' 3 ' 


SO, 


3-hour 


25.0 


875 


900.0 


South 


1.300 


1,300 (3) 




24-hour 


8.65 


144 


152.7 


North 


365 


365 (3) 




annual 


2.04 


10 


12.0 


North 


80 


80 <3) 


HCN 


8-hour 


0.05 ppm' 5 ' 


N/A 


0.05 ppm 


South 


- 


0.3 ppm' 4 * 


Hg 


1-hour 


0.49 


N/A 


0.49 


N/A 





1.5 (3) 




24-hour 


0.046 


N/A 


0.046 


N/A 


— 


0.4 <3) 



Worst case maximum (maximum 24-hour impact plus maximum 24-hour haseline). 
; "Representative maximum" (maximum 24-hour impact plus annual average haseline). 
' Applicable Arizona Ambient Air Quality Guideline. 
1 Applicable Arizona Standard of Performance (R- 18-2-730 (J)). 

Modeled one-hour impact is shown. The eight-hour impact is expected to be approximately 70 percent of one-hour impact. 



concentrations. A second, more likely ambient 24-hour 
PM„, concentration is also presented. This value is based 
on adding the predicted 24-hour impact at the maximum 
receptor to the annual average background concentration 
ofPM, . 

Generally, project emissions would be expected to 
produce maximum 24-hour ambient air impacts during 
meteorological conditions characterized by low 
dispersion (low wind speeds, high atmospheric stability). 
Such stagnant conditions prohibit significant mixing of the 
project's emissions with ambient air. This results in 
higher pollutant concentrations. However, in rural areas, 
background PM„, concentrations usually reach maximum 
levels under a different set of atmospheric conditions. 
Good dispersion conditions (high wind speeds, unstable 
atmosphere) elevate fugitive dust levels and result in 
higher ambient PM m concentrations. The baseline 



meteorological and PM H , data collected at the proposed 
Yarnell project site confirm this generalization. 

The results of the dispersion modeling analysis 
indicate that the maximum modeled impacts due to 
emissions from the proposed project occur on days with 
low average wind speeds (daily average is 3.0 m/s). 
Consequently, background PM 10 levels are likely to be at 
average or below average levels on these same days. 

The state and federal 24-hour PM„, standard is 150 
ug/m 3 . The maximum modeled concentration in the area 
of public access is 121.8 pg/m ? in the vicinity of the 
NWRD, approximately 150 meters north of the existing 
gravel road that makes up the northern modeling 
boundary line. For the worst-case 24-hour ambient 
concentration, the maximum 24-hour predicted impact 
is added to the maximum 24-hour baseline 



4-50 




MINE SITE STUDY AREA 






-N- 



1/4 1/2 



Mil r S 



MODELING BOUNDARY 
DISTANT RECEPTORS 
GRID RECEPTORS 



NWRD NORTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 

SWRD SOUTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 

HL HEAP LEACH FACILITY 

PIT YARNELL PIT 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAJ COUNTY, ARIZO^ 



FIGURE 4-6 

RECEPTOR GRID FOR 

MODELING OF 

NOv, CO, SOi, HCN AND Hg 



.*. 



Glen I la h 



Yarnell 





1 








1 








\ 


)nwrc 






. 


/PIT 






1 + 
















f SWRD 


HL 























































MINE SITE STUDY AREA 









N 



1/4 1/2 



MILES 



MODELING BOUNDARY 
DISTANT RECEPTORS 
GRID RECEPTORS 



NWRD NORTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 

SWRD SOUTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 

HL HEAP LEACH FACILITY 

PIT YARNELL PIT 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 

YAVAPAI COUNTV, ARIZONA 



FIGURE 4-7 



RECEPTOR GRID FOR 
PM, MODELING 



concentration of 28 pg/nr' to yield an ambient 
concentration of 149.8 |ug/m\ which is just below the 
state and federal air quality standards. This predicted 
24-hour maximum concentration would occur on a day 
when the winds were light (average wind speed = 6 
mph) and from the south throughout the entire period. 
Figure 4-8 shows the locations of the top five worst- 
case 24-hour PM,„ concentrations, as well as worst- 
case concentrations at receptors near Yarnell/Glen Ilah. 
Predicted PM„, concentrations decrease markedly with 
distance, as evidenced by the fact the model predicted 
a maximum impact of only 61 pg/m 1 (50 percent of the 
maximum impact ) at the receptor 550 meters downwind 
of the maximum impact location, where the impact was 
estimated to be 121.8 ug/m\ 

To estimate annual average PM I0 concentrations 
that may result from the Yarnell Project, the annual 
average background concentration is added to the 
predicted maximum annual average impact. The state 
and federal standard for annual arithmetic average of 
PM,„ is 50 ug/m\ The maximum modeled impact in 
the area of public access is 23.5 ug/m\ The location of 
the maximum annual average is on the modeling 
boundary of the leach pad. This impact concentration 
plus a baseline concentration of 10.2 pg/nr 1 equals an 
ambient concentration of 33.7 pg/m\ which is below 
the state and federal air quality standards. 



Oxides of Nitrogen - The state and federal standard 
for annual mean NO : concentration is 100 pg/m\ The 
maximum modeled annual average concentration of 
NO x (40.2 pg/m^) added to a typical background 
concentration for rural areas (6 pg/m 1 ) is 46.2 pg/m^ 
and occurs along the southern modeling boundary line, 
south of the ADR plant. The maximum modeled 
concentration of NO x provides an upper-bound on the 
estimated N0 2 concentration because NO x represents 
the total of all oxides of nitrogen. Therefore, modeled 
impacts show NO, impacts from the project to be 
below the state and federal standard. 

Carbon Monoxide - The one-hour standard for CO 
is 40,000 pg/m\ The maximum modeled one-hour CO 
impact (1 ,534 pg/m 1 ) added to the typical background 
concentration (2.280 pg/m 1 ) is 3.814 pg/m\ This 
concentration is below the one-hour NAAQS for CO 
and occurs approximately 200 meters west of the 
SWRD. 

The eight-hour standard for CO is 10,000 pg/m\ 
The maximum modeled eight-hour CO impact (412.9 
pg/nr 1 ) added to the typical background concentration 
(2,280 pg/nV) is 2,693 pg/m\ This value is below the 
eight-hour NAAQS for CO and occurs in the vicinity 
of the NWRD, along the existing gravel road that forms 
the northern modeling boundary line. 



In addition, the predicted impacts at receptors near 
Yarnell/Glen Ilah demonstrate how quickly particulate 
concentrations drop with increased distance from the 
project site. The projected annual average PM,„ 
impacts at these locations are between 3 and 4 pg/m\ 
These values are quite low when compared to the 
background PM 1(I concentration for the area of 10.2 
pg/m 1 measured at the project site. 



Sulfur Dioxide - The three-hour standard for SO : is 
1 ,300 pg/m\ The maximum modeled three-hour SO : 
impact is 25.0 pg/m\ This impact plus a typical three- 
hour baseline concentration for SO : (875 pg/nr 1 ) is 
900.0 pg/nr 1 and is below the three-hour NAAQS for 
SO : . The projected maximum concentration occurs 
100 meters south of the southern modeling study 
boundary in the vicinity of the ADR plant. 



4-55 



The maximum modeled 24-hour SO : impact is 8.65 
g/m 3 and occurs just north of the NWRD area along the 
existing gravel road that forms the northern modeling 
boundary. This impact plus a typical 24-hour baseline 
concentration (144 pg/m 3 ) is 152.7 pg/m 3 . This 
concentration is well below the 24-hour NAAQS for 
S0 2 (365 pg/m 3 ). 

The maximum modeled annual SO-, impact is 2.04 
pg/m 3 and occurs just north of the NWRD area along 
the existing gravel road that forms the northern 
modeling boundary. This impact plus a typical annual 
baseline concentration (10 pg/m 3 ) is 12.0 pg/m 3 . This 
value is below the annual NAAQS for SO : (80 pg/m 3 ). 
All of the modeled impacts for SO : are well below the 
state and federal standards. 

Hydrogen Cyanide - The maximum modeled one- 
hour impact for HCN is 59.7 pg/m 3 (0.05 parts per 
million [ppm] ) and occurs along the southern modeling 
boundary, south of the heap leach facility. This impact 
is below the HCN performance standard of 0.3 ppm 
(Arizona Administrative Code R18-2-730(J) - 
Standards of Performance for Unclassified Sources). 
This standard, however, is for an eight-hour averaging 
period. Eight-hour HCN impacts have not been 
modeled but would be less than (approximately 70 
percent) one-hour impacts. 

Mercury - The estimated one-hour and 24-hour 
maximum impacts for Hg are 0.49 pg/m 3 and 0.046 
pg/m\ respectively. These concentrations are below 
the one-hour Arizona Ambient Air Quality Guideline 
(AQG) of 1.5 pg/m 3 and the 24-hour AQG of 0.4 
pg/m 3 . 



dore furnace) in the air quality impact model show a 
predicted eight-hour mercury concentration that 
exceeds the inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC) 
for mercury. The RfC is an estimate (with uncertainty 
spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a daily 
inhalation exposure of the human population (including 
sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an 
appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime. 
The predicted maximum eight-hour concentration at the 
northwest corner of the project site (in the direction of 
the towns of Glen Ilah and Yarnell) is more than one 
order of magnitude lower than the RfC for mercury. 

Visibility - The nearest Class I area, the Pine 
Mountain Wilderness, is approximately 40 miles away. 
Densitometric analysis of color slides collected at a 
U.S. Forest Service Visibility Network site for the 
period of fall 1 992 through spring 1 996 yields a mean 
standard visual range (SVR) (the furthest distance one 
can see a landscape feature) of 159 kilometers (96 
miles) and a 90-percent SVR of 283 kilometers (175 
miles) for the Pine Mountain Wilderness. As Table 4- 1 
indicates. SVR results vary with season. Generally, 
visibility is poorest during the summer months and 
optimal during the winter months. The proposed 
Yarnell Project is approximately 65 kilometers from the 
nearest boundary of the Pine Mountain Wilderness. 
The physical distance between the project site and this 
area, along with topographic barriers to air flow and 
sight lines, limits the potential for any visual impact. 
Some localized visibility degradation may occur in the 
vicinity of the project site due to fugitive particulate 
emissions during periods of high winds or very stable 
conditions. However, these events would generally be 
short-term and intermittent in nature. 



Three receptor locations (along the facility 
boundary immediately south of the carbon kiln and 



4-56 




MODELING BOUNDARY 
DISTANT RECEPTORS 
GRID RECEPTORS 



NWRD NORTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 

SWRD SOUTH WASTE ROCK DUMP 

HL HEAP LEACH FACILITY 

PIT YARNELL PIT 



PROPOSED YARNELL PROJECT 



FIGURE 4-8 

WORST CASE MAXIMUM 

24-HOUR PM 10 
CONCENTRATIONS fctg/m 3 ) 



TABLE 4-10 

Photographic Standard Visual Range Data for the Pine Mountain Wilderness 

Fall 1992 - Spring 1996 



Season 


90% SVR (km) 


Mean SVR (km) 


Fall 


n/a 


158 


Winter 


n/a 


187 


Spring 


n/a 


147 


Summer 


n/a 


134 


Annual 


283 


159 



Notes: SVR is standard visual range or the furthest distance one can see a landscape feature. 
No SVR data is available for the period winter 1994 to summer 1994 

SVR data from densitometric analysis of color slides has an uncertainty of approximately 30 percent: 90% 
SVR is an approximation using the 80" 1 percentile camera-based SVR values, per USFS guidance. 



Source Classifications • The proposed Yarnell 
Project would be classified as a minor source under 
federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) 
regulations and as a Class I source under Arizona Air 
Permitting regulations based upon the projected annual 
levels of process emissions. Emissions of criteria 
pollutants (CO, NO x , PM I( , and S0 2 ) from process 
sources are not expected to exceed major source 
threshold levels (250 tons per year per pollutant). 

SIP Conformity - The proposed Yarnell Project is 
within an area that has been designated in attainment 
for all the criteria pollutants (i.e., historical ambient 
monitoring indicates that the National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards have not been exceeded). 
Furthermore, the modeling performed for this EIS 
indicates that exceedances of the federal ambient air 
quality standards are not expected. Therefore, off-site 
impacts due to emissions from the proposed action are 
not expected to hamper the state's efforts to maintain 
attainment status for this area and a formal 
demonstration of conformity with all state 
implementation plans (SIPs) is not required. 



Public Health Concerns. As noted above, air 
quality standards established by the EPA and state 
governments incorporate public health concerns of 
subpopulations (the elderly, children, asthmatics, etc.). 
Comparison of predicted impacts to the health-based 
standards in and of itself considers health risks to these 
subpopulations. While it is possible that health 
conditions of some individuals may be aggravated by 
airborne pollutants, there are no regulatory standards 
that specifically apply only to sensitive populations. 

The proposed Yarnell Project would be in a region 
that has seen outbreaks of illnesses, such as Hantavirus 
and Valley Fever, that are public health concerns. 
Based on current information, each has the potential for 
airborne transmission. Additionally, project-related 
odors have been identified as a potential public health 
issue. These issues are discussed below. 

Hantavirus - The proposed Yarnell Project lies in 
a region affected by an outbreak of an illness attributed 
to the Hantavirus. The Hantavirus was discovered in 
1993, and fewer than 200 cases have been identified 
since. The disease begins with symptoms such as 
fever, severe muscle aches, headache and cough and 



4-59 



can progress rapidly to severe lung disease. The deer 
mouse has heen identified as the primary carrier of the 
Hantavirus. A deer mouse was detected in the first 
haseline ecological survey conducted for the Yarnell 
project (October 7-10, 1991), but not in the second 
survey (July 6-7, 1992). However, the precise 
population of this species in the area and the 
percentage of infected animals are unknown. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC), human infection may occur when 
infective saliva or excreta are inhaled as aerosols 
produced directly from the host animal (i.e.. the deer 
mouse). Transmission may also occur when material 
contaminated by the rodent excreta are disturbed, 
directly introduced into broken skin or eyes or ingested 
in contaminated food or water. Many of the 
documented infections occurred after people disturbed 
rodent excrement in confined spaces, such as storage 
rooms. Infection can also occur if one is bitten by a 
host rodent. It is not known how long the hantaviruses 
survive after being shed into the environment by the 
rodents. However, the virus is rapidly inactivated when 
exposed to ultraviolet rays present in sunlight. 

Mining activities at the Yarnell Project site have the 
potential to disturb areas that may be inhabited by 
infected rodent populations. The primary threat of 
exposure would be to individuals who have close 
(direct) contact with rodents. Public access would be 
restricted, thus eliminating the possibility of direct 
contact. 

Mining activities associated with the Yarnell Project 
would produce dust (fugitive particulate emissions). 
Background PM 1() concentrations in the area are 
measured to be 10.2 ug/m\ Dispersion modeling 
predicts an increase of only three to four ug/m 1 for 
annual average PM U) concentrations due to emissions 



from the Yarnell Project in the towns of Glen Hah and 
Yarnell. PM„, concentrations decrease rapidly with 
distance from the project site and the project-related 
PM|„ impacts are low compared to background PM„, 
levels. The risk of exposure to the Hantavirus due to 
particulate emissions from the Yarnell Project is 
predicted to be low. The potential for exposure already 
exists due to windblown dust emissions from 
potentially contaminated areas proximate to Yarnell. 
Thus, although it is difficult to quantify precisely the 
risk of exposure to the Hantavirus and there remains 
some uncertainty about the transmission of this virus, 
it is unlikely that the Yarnell Project would increase the 
risk of exposure to residents living near the proposed 
project site. 

Valley Fever - The proposed Yarnell Project is in a 
region of the county that has seen an outbreak of 
Valley Fever. Valley Fever is a lung disease caused by 
the fungus Coccidioides immitis. This fungus grows in 
soils that experience little rainfall, high summer 
temperatures and moderate winter temperatures. 
Infection occurs when fungal spores are inhaled. 
Valley Fever is prevalent in the desert Southwest and 
Mexico. Approximately one-third of the residents 
tested in these areas have shown positive skin-test 
results, and there are about 1 00.000 new cases in the 
U.S. each year. Most cases resolve on their own, as 
Valley Fever is a self-limiting disease (similar to flu). 
Upon recovery, it is believed that individuals are 
immune from contracting Valley Fever again. The 
1990-1995 mean annual incidence rate varies with age 
from two cases per 100,000 population for the zero to 
four age group up to 28 cases per 100,000 population 
for 65 years old (England 1997). Exposure to wind 
blown dust or recently disrupted soils may increase the 
chances of infection. The Valley Fever fungi 
proliferate in the top few inches of soil after rainfall 



4-60 



has occurred and the moisture has penetrated helow the 
surface layer of soil. The Valley Fever spores can 
hecome airhorne with disturhance of infested soil by 
natural or anthropogenic activities. These spores can 
then be transported by wind to human receptors. 

Mining activities associated with the Yarnell Project 
would produce fugitive particulate emissions that may 
contain Valley Fever spores. However, researchers 
have noted that the organism causing Valley Fever is 
indigenous to Southwestern desert soil, and it is not 
found in agricultural soils above 4,000 feet in elevation 
(the Yarnell Project is at an elevation of 4.800 feet). 
YMC has committed to using water and chemical 
suppressants to minimize fugitive particulate emissions. 
This mitigation would reduce the potential for the 
creation of soil environments that tend to propagate the 
Valley Fever fungi. In addition, the bulk of the topsoil 
movement associated with the mining operation would 
occur during a three-to-six-month period. A major 
portion (40 percent) of the fugitive particulate 
emissions would originate from the mine's haul roads. 
These roads would consist of compacted, sub-topsoil 
material that contains little organic matter. It is not 
known whether these materials are as conducive to the 
growth of Valley Fever fungi. 

Dispersion modeling analysis performed for the Air 
Emission Permit application shows downwind PM ln 
concentrations decrease rapidly with distance from the 
project site. Background PM H) concentrations in the 
area are measured to be 10.2 ug/m\ Annual average 
PM|„ concentrations in the town of Glen Ilah and 
Yarnell are predicted to increase by only three to four 
ug/m 1 due to emissions from the Yarnell Project. It is 
uncertain whether these increases in PM I0 
concentrations would cause similar increases above 
background levels in the occurrence of Valley Fever 



spores. Thus, although it is difficult to quantify 
precisely the increase in risk of exposure to Valley 
Fever, it is unlikely that the Yarnell Project would 
increase this risk significantly above baseline 
conditions for residents living in the vicinity of the 
project site. 

Odors - Project-related odors from hydrogen 
cyanide (HCN), diesel emissions and disturbance of 
soil materials could result from project construction 
and operations. An impact analysis (Air Sciences, Inc., 
1 998 ) was conducted to estimate the potential effects of 
any odors on persons within the project area and nearby 
communities. The study made the following 
conclusions. 

♦ The maximum one-hour impact from HCN 
predicted to occur along the southern modeling 
boundary would be well below the range of odor 
thresholds for HCN as identified by the EPA in 
Hydrogen Cyanide Health Effects (EPA-460/3- 
81026). Modeled HCN impacts at sensitive 
receptors in the towns of Yarnell and Glen Ilah 
(where public sensitivity is greater) were lower 
than this impact. 

♦ Diesel emissions would not be likely to result in 
exceedances of the odor thresholds for major 
hydrocarbon constituents of diesel exhaust, and 
therefore, no odor impacts are expected to result 
from hydrocarbons emissions from project 
operations. 

♦ There would be some potential that project- 
related emissions would exceed the odor 
threshold for nitrogen dioxide NO\; actual 
occurrences of exceedances of this odor 
threshold would be expected to be infrequent. 

♦ Odors resulting from the movement of 
uncontaminated soil would likely be due to the 



4-61 



presence of organic materials in the soil. 
However, because the project would be in an 
arid climate, soil organic content would be 
expected to be minimal. Odor impacts from 
soils would therefore be considered unlikely, 
with their potential occurrence limited to a very 
narrow time frame during initial project 
construction when topsoil is first disturbed. 
Dust control activities such as wetting/dust 
suppressants for roadways and water sprays for 
material handling would also act to minimize 
these odors. 

Overall, effects from project-related odors would 
not be significant and would not constitute an 
identifiable threat to public health. 

4. 1. 7.2 Impact Mitigation 

Emissions from many of the sources at the proposed 
Yarnell Project would be controlled by implementing 
air pollution control measures. The emission control 
measures proposed by YMC for the Yarnell Project 
(committed to by YMC in the MPO and/or the air 
permit application for a Class I Air Installation Permit 
issued by ADEQ) are considered to be equivalent to 
Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for this 
type of source. Furthermore, the emission control 
measures are comparable to those identified in the 
Hayden (AZ) Area PM W Stare Implementation Plan 
(SIP). The proposed control measures are summarized 
in Table 4-11, along with corresponding control 
efficiencies. Control efficiencies are based on 
information contained in AP-42, manufacturers' data 
and previous mining experience. 



material handling) would be minimized by 
watering and the application of chemical 
palliatives. One 5.000-gallon water truck would 
be maintained on site. Blast hole drills would be 
equipped with an appropriate combination of 
water injection, a pneumatic flushing device 
and/or dust shroud to control particulate 
emissions. 

♦ High pressure water sprays or the equivalent at 
the primary and secondary crushers would 
reduce process dust emissions from the crushing 
circuit. In addition, emissions from ore 
conveyor transfer points would be controlled 
with water sprays or the equivalent. 

♦ Particulate emissions from the pneumatic 
loading of lime to the lime silo would be 
controlled by a fabric filter. 

♦ Combustion emissions of S0 2 from the mobile 
equipment and the generators would be 
minimized by using diesel fuel with a maximum 
sulfur content of 0.05 percent. 

♦ Hydrogen cyanide gas may be emitted during 
the leaching process. The formation of HCN is 
highly dependent on pH, and the primary control 
for HCN gas emission would be maintaining a 
leaching solution with a minimum pH of 10.5. 
The project would also control HCN emissions 
by employing drip emitters that minimize the 
solution's contact with air during application. 

♦ Mercury and particulate emissions from the 
carbon kiln and dore furnace used during gold 
refining would be controlled with a baghouse (a 
device that contains a large fabric bag or filter 
that captures particle matter as air is drawn 
through the device). 



♦ Dust emissions from non-process sources (e.g., 
vehicular travel over unpaved haul roads, 



4-62 



TABLE 4-11 
Summary of Air Pollution Control Measures and Efficiencies 



Source 


Pollutant 


Control 


Efficiency 


Drilling 


PM 10 


water injection, pneumatic 
flushing and/or dust shroud 


85% 


Haul roads 


PM I0 


water/chemical application 


90% 


Mobile equipment/generator 


S0 2 


0.05 % sulfur content in diesel fuel 


... 


Primary crushing 


PM 10 


high pressure water sprays or equivalent 


90% 


Secondary crushing 


PM 10 


high pressure water sprays or equivalent 


90% 


Ore conveyers 


PM 10 


water sprays 


83% 


Lime silo 


PM 10 


fabric filter 


99% 


Waste dump erosion 


PM 10 


water/chemical application 


90%' 


Ore storage erosion 


PM 10 


water/chemical application 


90%' 


Leach pad 


HCN 


drip emitters/spray bars/pH control 


— 


Carbon kiln 


PM I0 


baghouse 


98% 




Hg 




90% 


Dore furnace 


PM„, 


baghouse 


98% 




Hg 




90% 


Laboratory 


PM„, 


baszhouse 


98% 



No credit was taken for these controls in the emissions inventory (due to the difficulty in quantifying emissions/controls): 
however, they would be implemented at the mine. 

2 Although no control efficiency is identified for these control methods, HCN emission rate calculations incorporate the 
implementation of these controls. 



No additional mitigation measures would be 
required to reduce impacts to air quality. 

4. 1. 7.3 Residual Effects 

Short-term increases in air emissions would result 
from the proposed action. Emissions would be within 
regulatory limits and would decline rapidly with 
increasing distance from the mine. Therefore, residual 
effects would not be significant. 



4.1.8 



LAND USE 



The following criteria and issues were evaluated to 
determine potential impacts to public access and land 
uses. 

♦ potential termination or restriction of existing 
public access opportunities, 

♦ proximity to any sensitive or environmentally 
significant areas, 

♦ termination of an existing land use. or an 
incompatibility in land uses: and 



4-63 



♦ a general characterization of impact type 
(including location, duration and magnitude of 
the potential impact). 



these activities. Access to launch areas for hang 
gliding would be lost or restricted during the operation 
of the mine. 



4.1.8.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

The proposed action could affect public access and 
land uses by exerting a physical and/or visual influence 
on existing conditions. Direct effects could result from 
modification of existing land uses. Indirect impacts 
could result from altered land use patterns or access to 
use areas near the proposed project. Indirect effects 
would also result if the proposed project stimulated or 
encouraged the development of land uses not presently 
anticipated. 

Effects to Public Access. Mina Road, at the north 
boundary of the proposed operational area, would 
remain open to the public. Access to and from Yarnell 
along state Highway 89 would remain as it currently 
exists except for the proposed road closures associated 
with blasting. These road closures are proposed to 
occur two times a week for 10 minutes per closure. 



Overall, most effects to public access would be 
negligible and short term in duration. However, 
because Yarnell area residents need 24-hour per day, 
seven-day per week emergency medical access to 
Wickenburg along state Highway 89. the effects of the 
road closures could be significant without proper 
implementation of the traffic control plan. 

Effects to Existing Land Uses. Although 
exploration and mining activities have historically 
occurred within and adjacent to the proposed project 
area, the construction and operation of the proposed 
project would introduce a noticeable temporary land 
use change in the area around Yarnell Hill. The mining 
land use would generally be incompatible with 
residential land use. especially in the Glen Hah area. 
The Yarnell Project would also cause a short-term loss 
of multiple use resources in the affected area, mostly as 
a loss of open space and wildlife habitat. 



YMC would construct several roads within the 
boundaries of the proposed disturbance area, but these 
roads would be primarily for ore/waste rock hauling 
and not available for public use. The public would be 
restricted from direct access to mining and processing 
operations for security and safety reasons. 
Construction of the proposed water supply pipeline 
would not affect access to communities, businesses or 
any adjacent land. 

Access to public land in the project area would be 
restricted. About 1 1 8 acres of public land would not be 
available for recreational activities such as hunting or 
hiking, but currentlv there is limited use of the area for 



On a more regional basis, the proposed project 
would not substantially change other land uses in 
Yavapai County or within BLM-administered land in 
the region. Population increases associated with the 
project would not be large enough to cause any 
identifiable change in private land use (e.g., residential 
or commercial uses) within Yavapai or Maricopa 
counties. 

No parks, concentrated recreational use areas, 
wildernesses or protected natural areas would be 
directly impacted by the proposed project. The 
development of the proposed Yarnell Project would 
cause only negligible effects to recreational 



4-64 



opportunities because existing recreational use in the 
project area is minimal. 

Effects from the Water Supply Pipeline. The 

proposed pipeline corridors would be within and 
adjacent to many land uses including open space, 
wildlife habitat, historic mining, grazing, commercial 
and roadways. While there would be minor short-term 
disruption of some areas during pipeline construction, 
the existence of the pipeline would not result in any 
major identifiable conflicts with existing land uses. 
Since the pipeline would be buried at crossings with 
existing roads, vehicle access to adjacent land would 
not be restricted due to the presence of the proposed 
pipelines. The pipeline could also serve as a small 
barrier to illegal off-road travel. 

Effects on Existing Land Ownership. With its 
current land ownership and agreements with other 
landowners, YMC has legal access to the land 
proposed for disturbance. No further land ownership 
changes associated with the project are needed or 
anticipated. 

Effects on Grazing. The proposed project would 
result in restricted access to about 300 acres of the 
Congress grazing allotment, the loss of the Tom Cat 
Tank stock pond and the loss of access to the waterhole 
occasionally present at Cottonwood Spring. This 
would require a change in the existing grazing permit. 
These grazing impacts would not be significant because 
they would affect a very small and geographically 
peripheral portion of the grazing allotment. 

Effects of Mine Closure/Reclamation. The 

closure, reclamation and abandonment of the proposed 
project would generally return affected public and 
private land to their pre-mining land uses as wildlife 



habitat and open space. Some mining and/or 
processing-related facilities would remain unavailable 
for public use because of safety concerns. Details of 
proposed closure/reclamation activities are described in 
the MPO. 

Consistency with Land Use Plans. The proposed 
project would be consistent with the multiple use 
principles under which the BLM manages federal land 
and with the Lower Gila North MFP. However, the 
project would not be consistent with the Yavapai 
County General Development Plan, which envisions 
Yarnell as a quiet rural community with limited 
commercial and industrial development and the MSA 
as an area of scenic reserve (Ferguson, Morris & 
Associates 1975). Since the development plan is not a 
regulatory document, this land use planning 
inconsistency would not necessarily result in a need to 
revise the plan. However, this inconsistency 
demonstrates the incompatibility of the proposed 
mining operation with the existing county plan. 

Relocation of Communication Towers. The 

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Maricopa 
County communications towers would be relocated as 
the proposed project is developed. Tower relocation 
sites have not yet been chosen, but would involve 
private land transfers and specific locations for the 
relocated towers. Any necessary building permits 
and/or environmental approvals associated with the 
new sites would be obtained by BNSF and Maricopa 
County. BNSF and Maricopa County may choose to 
relocate the towers prior to YMC receiving decisions 
on the permits necessary for operation of the proposed 
project. The BLM has no regulatory authority over the 
tower relocations as long as no federal land is involved. 



4-65 



4.1.8.2 Impact Mitigation 

The applicant has proposed environmental 
protection measures such as reclamation, closure and 
security activities to reduce potential adverse effects. 
Discussion of emergency access to the area during 
blasting periods is in the Transportation section of this 
EIS (Section 4.1.12). No additional mitigation 
measures would be required. 

4.1.8.3 Residual Effects 

While the proposed operation would be consistent 
with BLM land use designations, implementation of the 
project would be inconsistent with county land use plans 
and goals, given the incompatibility between the mining 
land use and nearby residential areas in Glen Ilah. 
Implementation of the project would limit non-mining uses 
of the mining area; however, after reclamation and closure 
activities, the operational area would generally be 
consistent with wildlife habitat and open space land uses. 
The loss of the Tom Cat Tank stock pond and access to 
the waterhole occasionally present at Cottonwood Spring 
would be a residual effect to grazing. 



4.1.9 



VISUAL RESOURCES 



Daytime and nighttime views from nearby 
residences and State Highway 89 would be affected by 
the proposed action. The assessment of visual impacts 
is based upon impact criteria and methodology 
described in the BLM Visual Contrast Rating System, 
summarized in Section 3.6.1 of this EIS. Effects to 
visual resources are assessed to address such issues as 
the type and extent of actual physical contrast resulting 
from the proposed action and the level of visibility of 
a specific facility, activity or structure from areas such 
as nearby residences and roads. Comparison of these 



contrasts to Visual Resource Management objectives for 
affected land indicates the magnitude of potential impacts. 



4.1.9.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Any project that introduces new or changed forms, 
lines, colors and textures to a landscape would have an 
impact on the visual character of the area. A number of 
factors must be considered in the evaluation of visual 
impacts. Primary among these factors is the issue of 
how visible the changes are from viewpoints most 
likely to be used by people. A number of subjective 
and objective factors must be considered in a visual 
impact analysis. Among these factors are the number 
of viewers to be affected, viewer sensitivity, distance 
and atmospheric conditions of viewing, existing and 
historic land uses and scenic quality of directly 
impacted and adjacent areas. 

A description of the visual resource existing 
environment in VRM terminology is provided in 
Section 3.6.1. Key observation points (KOPs) have 
been chosen to represent views of the proposed mining 
operation (see Figure 3-18). The largest numbers of 
viewers would observe the mine area from KOPs 1, 2 
and 3; fewer from KOPs 4 and 5; views from KOPs 6 
and 7 would be visible only from those specific 
residences. The mining operation would not be visible 
from much of Yarnell because the view would be 
blocked by a ridge of Antelope Peak. In Glen Ilah, 
mine views from many residences would be blocked by 
hills, hollows, vegetation or boulders. From Glen Ilah. 
the mine would be most visible from areas near State 
Highway 89 and the vicinity of Lakewood and Foothill 
drives. The mine would not be visible from the North 
Ranch area (the Escapees travel club/retirement 
community) south of Congress. 



4-66 



TABLE 4-12 
Summary of Projected Visual Effects During Operations and After Reclamation 





Projected Effects During Operations 


Projected Effects After Reclamation 


KOP 


Effect Magnitude* 


Meets Visual Class 
Objective? 


Effect Magnitude* 


Meets Visual Class 
Objective? 


1 


Weak 


Yes 


Weak 


Yes 


2 


Strong 


No 


Strong 


No 


3 


Moderate 


Yes 


Weak-Moderate 


Yes 


4 


Moderate 


Yes 


Moderate 


Yes 


5 


Strong 


No 


Strong 


No 


6 


Strong 


No 


Strong 


No 


7 


Strong 


No 


Strong 


No 



'Effect Magnitude Criteria (Based on Contrast Rating): 

Weak - The element contrast can be seen but does not attract attention. 

Moderate - The element contrast begins to attract attention and begins to dominate the characteristic landscape. 

Strong - The element contrast demands attention, will not be overlooked and is dominant in the landscape. 



Table 4- 1 2 summarizes the projected contrast rating 
effects of the proposed operation on the views from the 
seven KOPs. As shown in the table matrix, the visual 
contrast of the proposed action with the existing 
landscape ranges from a "weak contrast" rating to a 
"strong contrast" rating, depending on viewer location, 
distance from the site and time of day (daylight or 
darkness). This evaluation of impact was performed by 
using the standard BLM Visual Contrast Rating 
worksheets (available in BLM project files) and 
computer simulations of impacts (see Appendix I). The 
visual contrast ratings shown in the matrix are based on 
the final contours (maximum height and lateral extent) 
of the various project components. A summary of the 
visual contrasts from each KOP is also presented in this 
section. 

Types of Potential Impacts. In general, the three 
primary visual impacts of the proposed project would 
be: 



♦ the introduction of new landforms that contrast 
with the existing landscape on the basis of form, 
line, color and texture; 

♦ project illumination during nighttime operating 
hours and 

♦ fugitive dust generated, causing a dust plume 
that contrasts with the surrounding clear air and 
increases project visibility. 

These effects would all be most noticeable during 
the proposed six years of active mining (e.g. short 
term), but the introduction of new landforms would 
generally remain for the long term. 

A summary of the mining-related visual effects as 
viewed from each identified KOP is discussed below. 
At full production, strong contrasts are identified in 
four of the seven KOPs. Effects from closure and 
reclamation activities would only slightly lessen these 
contrasts in most cases. Because of the strong contrast 
which would be only slightly lessened during 



4-67 



reclamation, effects on visual resources would be 
significant in both the short and long term. 

Daytime Effects of New Landforms at Peak 
Mining-Related Conditions. Daytime effects of the 
proposed project as simulated from each KOP are 
identified below. 

KOP-1: View from State Highway 89 in Con2ress 

- When viewed from KOP-1, the proposed action 
would contrast weakly with the existing landscape 
because of the eight-mile distance to the mine site. The 
pit would be visible, but would be identifiable only 
with binoculars. The disturbance visible from this 
viewpoint would not dominate the view and would be 
consistent with the Class III visual objectives. 

KOP-2: View Northeast from State Highway 89 - 

The pit, topsoil stockpile, SWRD and haul roads would 
be visible from this KOP. These facilities would create 
a strong contrast with the existing landscape in all four 
contrast categories (form, line, color and texture). The 
mining disturbance would dominate the view and 
would not be consistent with Class III visual 
objectives. 

KOP-3: View Southeast from State Highway 89 - 

The pit would be the only facility seen from this 
viewpoint. Because of the distance to the mine site, 
buildings in the foreground and midground and rolling 
hills blocking some of the view of the site, there would 
be a moderate contrast with the existing landscape. 
Contrasts would take the form of color and texture. 
The disturbed areas would not dominate the view and 
would be consistent with Class III visual objectives. 

KOP-4: View Southeast from Intersection of 
Lakewood Drive and Foothill in Glen Ilah - This view 



is similar to KOP-3 except that KOP-4 is an additional 
400 to 500 yards from the proposed site and would not 
have as many obstructions blocking direct views of the 
mine site. The pit would be the only facility visible 
from this viewpoint. Because of the additional 
distance, the mining-related disturbance would not 
dominate this view. Primary contrasts would take the 
form of color and texture, but the moderate contrasts 
would be consistent with Class III visual objectives. 

KOP-5: View South from Mina Road - This KOP 
would consist of a direct view of the pit and NWRD 
because there are no structures, vegetation or other 
objects which would block the view. These facilities 
would exhibit a strong contrast with the existing 
landscape and dominate the view. Primary contrasts 
would take the form of color, texture and line and 
would not be consistent with Class III visual 
objectives. 

KOP-6: View Southeast from Residence - This 
viewpoint would be the same direction as KOP-3 and 
KOP-4, except that KOP-6 would be much closer to 
mine facilities. The pit, haul roads, topsoil storage pile, 
heap leach pile and SWRD would be visible from this 
KOP. There is some blockage of the facilities to the left 
portion of the view because of dense shrubby 
vegetation. However, even with this vegetation screen, 
the facilities would dominate the view. Contrast with 
the existing landscape would be strong and occur in all 
categories (form, line, color and texture). This KOP 
would not be consistent with Class III visual 
objectives. 

KOP-7: View East from Residence - From this 
KOP. the pit, heap leach pile. SWRD. topsoil stockpile 
and haul roads would be visible in a panoramic-style 
view. Because this KOP is at a higher elevation than 



4-68 



other KOPs, the viewer would be looking directly 
across and/or downward toward these facilities. The 
facilities would totally dominate the view and contrast 
strongly with the existing landscape in form, line, color 
and texture. This KOP would not be consistent with 
Class III visual objectives. 

Daytime Effects of New Landforms After 
Completion of Closure/Reclamation Activities. Post- 
mining reclamation would reduce the ultimate visual 
impacts of the proposed operation. Vegetation would 
replace barren areas and blend in with undisturbed 
areas. Because the pit would be opened or "day 
lighted" to the west, it is not a typical open pit. 
Therefore, pit backfilling is not practical and the pit 
wall would remain a major visual impact. Eventually, 
the color contrasts of the pit and other visible mine 
elements would weaken slightly as rock weathers and 
darkens to a hue closer to that of the surrounding 
terrain. Erosion would soften the geometric shape of 
the elements, reducing contrasts in form and line. 
Specific visual effects after reclamation are projected 
for each KOP below. 

KOP -I: View from State Highway 89 in Congress 

- Since the pit generally remains in its peak-mining 
shape after reclamation, this view is the same as that 
described in the peak-mining conditions section above. 
Because of distance, the effect would not dominate the 
landscape and would be consistent with the Class ID 
objectives. 

KOP-2: View Northeast from State Highway 89 - 

This view shows successful reclamation of haul roads, 
the topsoil stockpile and SWRD. Because the pit 
generally remains in its peak-mining condition after 
reclamation, the effect would still dominate this 



viewpoint and would not be consistent with the Class 
III objectives. 

KOP-3: View Southeast from State Highway 89 - 

Since the pit generally remains in its peak-mining 
condition after reclamation, this view is the same as 
that described for the peak-mining conditions. Because 
of the vegetation and buildings in the foreground, the 
effect would be weak to moderate. Effects would not 
dominate the landscape and would be consistent with 
the Class III objectives. 

KOP-4: View Southeast from Intersection of 
Lakewood Drive and Foothill in Glen Ilah - Since the 
pit generally remains in its peak-mining condition after 
reclamation, this view is the same as that described for 
the peak-mining conditions. Effects would remain 
moderate and would not dominate the landscape. This 
would be consistent with the Class III objectives. 

KOPS: View South from Mina Road - This view 
shows successful reclamation of the NWRD. 
However, strong contrasts remain with surrounding 
terrain and the presence of the pit is still dominant. 
Contrast effects would remain strong and would not be 
consistent with the Class III objectives. 

KOP-6: View Southeast from Residence - This 
view shows successful reclamation of the SWRD and 
the heap leach facility. However, the presence of the 
pit is still dominant. Contrast effects would remain 
strong and would not be consistent with the Class HI 
objectives. 

KOP-7: View East from Residence - This view 
shows successful reclamation of the SWRD and heap 
leach facility. However, strong contrasts remain with 
surrounding terrain, and the presence of the pit is still 



4-69 



dominant. Contrast effects would remain strong and 
would not be consistent with the Class III objectives. 

Nighttime Effects of Operations. YMC has 

proposed to continue some operations (e.g., mining, 
hauling, crushing and pad loading) 24 hours per day, 
five days per week. Even without 24-hour-per-day 
active mining, some lighting would be required for the 
leach area, parking and security. However, additional 
lighting would be required to facilitate 24-hour-per-day 
mining of waste rock. This situation would require 
outdoor lighting in some areas of the mine site. In the 
MPO, YMC proposed that portable light plants (metal 
halide) would be used to light the active mining areas 
and the active waste rock dumps. Lighting would also 
be necessary at the crusher, ADR plant and shop. As 
proposed, all lights would be hooded and directed away 
from the highway and nearby residences. 

Even though lights would not be directed at any 
populated or other off-site areas, the proposed lighting 
would still be visible from all KOPs. The effect would 
generally take the form of a non-point glare (e.g., a 
lighted pit or waste rock dump face) rather than a 
specific direct light source. The intensity of light 
would be somewhat muted because the lights would be 
directed away from viewers, but the intensity would 
probably still be greater than typical street lights for 
mine safety purposes. While this would not cause a 
viewer any eye trauma or cause one to shield the eyes 
during a direct view of the lighted areas, nighttime 
views of the mine site could show extensive activity in 
an area which is not currently lighted. 

Nighttime visual effects on State Highway 89 users 
would generally be minor to moderate because of the 
short duration of their views. Depending on specific 
circumstances, some drivers could be distracted by 



these unexpected lights. Visual effects on some nearby 
residential areas would be moderate to strong because 
the glare from the lights would be constant. Some 
persons in the immediate mine vicinity could notice an 
adverse effect on the nighttime visibility of the sky and 
stars. Overall effects of nighttime use of lighting 
would be significant on residential areas immediately 
adjacent to the mine site. 

Effects of Dust on Visibility. Dust would be 
generated by mining/processing operations, and the 
potential effect of this dust on visibility is a concern of 
local residents. Visibility can be defined as the degree 
to which ambient air pollutants obscure a person's 
ability to see a given reference point through the 
atmosphere. The more a reference point is obscured, 
the poorer the visibility. As discussed in the Air 
Quality section, at present the visibility in the area is 
commonly affected by hazy conditions. 

Dust from the proposed operations would be visible 
under some circumstances from all KOPs. Depending 
upon climatic conditions, project-related dust effects 
would range from minimal to the appearance of a haze 
over the project area. These events would generally be 
short term and intermittent in nature. Visibility effects 
would not be in violation of federal and state air quality 
standards, but could be annoying to residents either 
physically or psychologically. 

Visual Effects of the Pipelines. The proposed 
pipeline corridors were shown previously in Figure 2-9. 
The proposed four-inch pipeline and disturbed 
corridors would generally be visible only by persons in 
proximity to the 10.000-gallon water storage tanks and 
pump stations associated with the pipelines. As 
described in Section 2.1.6.4, several types of pipe are 
proposed for the water supply pipeline. The HDPE 



4-70 



pipe would be black and the steel pipe would have a 
black or red-rust color. Yelomine (or equivalent 
material) PVC pipe would be used where higher water 
pressures would occur. Yelomine pipe is manufactured 
from a specially formulated PVC compound which 
contains impact modifiers and ultraviolet inhibitors, 
and it normally has a light yellow color. It is also 
available in green, brown, white and other colors, given 
an appropriate lead time when ordering. 

The pipeline would follow existing disturbance as 
much as possible and be placed directly on the ground. 
Therefore, existing vegetation and topography would 
screen the pipeline from ordinary vantage points. 
Portions of the pipeline along County Road 109 
(between Well 2BCD and the Section 28 well field) 
may be visible to vehicular traffic. All pipeline 
segments would be temporary and remain in place only 
during project operations and reclamation. The 
pipeline would not cross any protected or restricted 
areas. Overall, the visual effects of the pipeline are 
minor and are much less than the other proposed 
project facilities. 

4.1.9.2 Impact Mitigation 

YMC has proposed reclamation measures, including 
landscape contouring and revegetation, to reduce 
adverse contrast effects to visual resources. The 
practicality and effectiveness of a tree planting program 
by YMC along State Highway 89. Mina Road and in 
Glen Ilah will be evaluated by the BLM if the project 
is approved. In addition, visible facilities would be 
painted a desert tan or other color acceptable to the 
BLM to reduce visual effects. Pipeline color would 
also be coordinated with the BLM. Lights would be 
shielded and directed downward to reduce nighttime 
glare. 



4.1.9.3 Residual Effects 

The disturbances and facilities associated with the 
proposed project would cause a noticeable visual effect 
which would become greater over the anticipated six- 
year operational period. Many of the visual effects 
would be permanent. Reclamation efforts would only 
partially lessen the impacts to the existing visual 
resources, and visual effects would continue to be 
significant over the long term. 

4.1.10 CULTURAL RESOURCES 

4. 1.10.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation 
Act and the implementing regulations (36 CFR 800) 
specify that potential effects must be assessed for those 
resources determined eligible or potentially eligible for 
listing on the National Register of Historic Places 
(NRHP). 

Table 4- 1 3 provides a summary of the seven historic 
properties in the study area, their recommended NRHP 
status and projected impacts. National Register- 
eligible sites include the Yarnell Overlook, a historic 
Native American site: the Biedler Mine and Edgar 
Shaft, both historic mines; and the Mina-Genung Road. 
The Yarnell Overlook site would not be directly 
impacted by mining activities. However, indirect 
adverse effects could occur through increased 
accessibility, which could make the site more 
vulnerable to artifact collecting or other types of 
disturbance. The Biedler Mine and Edgar Shaft would 
be directly impacted by the construction of the open pit 
and the SWRD. These sites, significant for their 
informational value, have been fully documented and 
additional field studies would yield minimal 



4-71 



TABLE 4-13 
Management Recommendations for Cultural Resources 



Site Number 


Site Name 


Site Type 


NRHP Status 


Impact 


Recommendations 


AZN:13:8 
(ASM) 


Biedler Mine 


Mine and 
trash scatter 


Eligible 


Within the proposed 
South Waste Rock 
Storage Area 


Completely 

recorded 

No further work 


AZN:13:9 

(ASM) 


Edgar Shaft 


Mine and 
trash scatter 


Eligible 


Within proposed 
Yarnell pit 


Completely 

recorded 

No further work 


AZN:13:10 

(ASM) 


State High- 
way 89 
segment 


Abandoned 
highway 


Not-eligible 


No impact within 
proposed mine facility 
boundaries 


No further work 


AZN:13:11 

(ASM) 


Yarnell 
Overlook 


Stone 
enclosure 
and artifact 
scatter 


Eligible 


No direct impact, but 
possible disturbance 
associated with greater 
activity in the area 


Develop and 
implement a data 
recovery plan 


AZN:14:18 
(ASM) 


- 


Trash scatter 


Not eligible 


No impact, outside 
proposed facilities 


No further work 


AZN:14:19 
(ASM) 


Yarnell Mine 


Mine 


Not eligible 


Within proposed 
Yarnell pit. North 
Waste Rock Dump and 
Storage Areas 


No further work 


AZN: 14:20 
(ASM) 


Mina-Genung 
Road seement 


Road 


Eligible 


No impact, outside 
proposed facilities 


No further work 



information. Therefore, the loss of these sites has 
already been mitigated through complete recording. 

Two historic road segments, outside the proposed 
facilities, would not be directly impacted by the mining 
operation. An abandoned segment of State Highway 
89 is not eligible for the National Register. The portion 
of the NRHP-eligible Mina-Genung Road near the 
project area has remained in continuous use and has no 
associated historic structures, artifacts or aspects of 
construction that would be affected. 

Two mining-related sites, the historic Yarnell Mine 
and AZ N: 1 4: 1 8 (ASM), a trash scatter, are not NRHP- 
eligible due to poor integrity, and existing remains have 
been fully recorded and documented. The Yarnell 
Mine was important in the area's history, but 
successive mining operations on private land have 



obliterated earlier historic features. The Yarnell Mine 
area would be directly impacted by the open pit. 
NWRD and storage areas. AZ N: 14: 1 8 (ASM) would 
not be directly impacted by the mining operation. 

4.1.10.2 Impact Mitigation 

All historic sites in the MSA, except the Yarnell 
Overlook site, have been fully documented, mapped 
and photographed. Any potential adverse effects to the 
Yarnell Overlook site would be mitigated through 
development and implementation of a data recovery 
plan approved by the BLM in consultation with the 
SHPO and Native American tribes. This plan would 
include, but is not limited to. excavation, artifact 
collection and analysis, additional site mapping, oral 
histories, additional archival research and site 
photography. 



4-72 



Additional discoveries of archaeological sites are 
unlikely. However, the Yarnell Mining Company 
would be required, by a stipulation in the mining plan 
and under A.R.S. 41-865, to report any new discovery 
and to cease activities in the immediate vicinity until 
the discovery is evaluated by a professional 
archaeologist and appropriate treatment is determined 
by the BLM or the Arizona State Museum. The State 
Museum's jurisdiction would be limited to the 
discovery of burials on private land. 



possible historic Yavapai site. The proposed action 
would have no effect on tribal lands or communities, 
treaty rights or tribal government planning and resource 
management programs. Indian trust resources would 
not be affected under the proposed action or any of the 
other EIS alternatives. 

4.1.11.2 Impact Mitigation 

There would be no mitigation measures required. 



4.1.10.3 Residual Effects 

Implementation of the data recovery plan at the 
Yarnell Overlook site would greatly reduce or 
eliminate potential effects on significant cultural 
resources. Residual effects are negligible and not 
significant. 

4.1.11 INDIAN TRUST RESOURCES 

The U.S. has a trust responsibility, executed 
through the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with 
Secretarial Order 3175, to uphold legal and treaty 
obligations of the federal government to Native 
American tribes. These obligations require a 
reasonable and good faith effort to identify and 
consider the effects of decisions on Native American 
treaty rights, lands and tribal government planning and 
resource management programs. 

4.1.11.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

The nearest Indian community is the Yavapai- 
Prescott Indian Tribe, approximately 30 miles northeast 
of the MSA near Prescott. This tribe and other 
Yavapai communities would be given the opportunity 
to participate in studies of the Yarnell Overlook, a 



4. 1.11.3 Residual Effects 

There would be no residual effects. 

4.1.12 TRANSPORTATION IMPACTS 

Transportation issues include the effects of 
additional mine-related traffic, the potential for 
accidents and other safety concerns, the need for 
additional road maintenance and the effects of the 
proposed road closures for blasting. The potential 
impacts resulting from the transportation of hazardous 
material to the site is addressed in Section 4.1.14.2. 

4.1.12.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Mine employees, contractors and equipment 
suppliers would generate additional traffic on State 
Highway 89 and Mina Road in the Yarnell/Glen Hah 
area. As further discussed below, potential impacts 
resulting from this additional traffic include congestion 
on area roads, additional accidents and increased road 
maintenance costs. Road closures during blasting 
would also impact transportation in the area. 



4-73 



TABLE 4-14 
Sources of Mine Employees Commuting to Mine Site 



Area of Origination 


Construction 


Operation 


Yarnell 


11 


10 


Congress 


5 


5 


Prescott 


20 


18 


Other areas of Yavapai County 


20 


18 


Wickenburg 


20 


18 


Phoenix/Maricopa County 


24 


22 


Total 


100 


91 



Mine-Generated Traffic. As discussed in Section 
4.1.14.2, mine-related traffic would be expected to 
originate from as far north as Prescott and as far south 
as Phoenix. With the exception of the Yarnell-based 
workers, all mine-related traffic is expected to arrive 
and depart the site only on State Highway 89 and Mina 
Road. Table 4- 1 4 shows the projected number of mine 
employees during both construction and operation of 
the proposed project. Most of the employees would 
arrive and depart at shift changes, which are proposed 
for 7:45 am, 3:45 pm and 1 1 :45 pm. The first shift 
(beginning at 7:45 am) would have more workers than 
the other two shifts. Therefore, the greatest number of 
employees arriving and departing the site at any one 
time would be approximately 40 to 50 workers. 
However, as some carpooling is expected, the number 
of vehicles would likely be less. 

In addition to employees, an average of 
approximately four delivery vehicles per day would be 
expected to arrive and depart the site. Two of these 
deliveries would be packages and letters from delivery 
services such as UPS and Federal Express, whose 
delivery vehicles would presumably already be in the 
area at least occasionally. The other two deliveries 
would be fuel or process reagents. 



Use of vehicles to ship the dore bar product to an 
off-site refinery would be minimal. Only about four 
dore bars would be produced each month. 

For a 24-hour period, the combination of employee, 
delivery and shipping vehicles represents less than a 
five percent increase in traffic on State Highway 89 
(compared to 1995 traffic volumes between State 
Highway 71 and Shrine Road as shown in Table 3-18). 

Level-of-Service. A level-of-service (LOS ) analysis 
was conducted for State Highway 89 from U.S. 93 to 
Ponderosa. LOS is a method of qualitatively 
describing the traffic conditions on a particular 
roadway (Transportation Research Board 1994). LOS 
takes into consideration factors such as speed, number 
of lanes, percentage of trucks, the number of side-road 
access points, freedom to maneuver and traffic 
interruptions. There are six levels of service, each 
given a letter rating of "A" to "F." "A" represents the 
best driving conditions, "F' the worst. Using 1995 
traffic volumes, the LOS on the section of State 
Highway 89 under study was determined to be "A." A 
second analysis was conducted using future traffic 
volumes, including the addition of project-related 
traffic. With these future traffic volumes (including the 
less than five percent project-related increase noted 
above), LOS was again determined to be "A." 



4-74 



Therefore, LOS on State Highway 89 would not be 
affected by the addition of Yarnell Project traffic. 



per day represents only a five-percent increase in traffic 
on State Highway 89. 



Accidents. The additional traffic which would be 
generated by the proposed project has the potential to 
increase the number of accidents on area roads. The 
increase in the number of accidents is expected to be at 
most proportional to the increase in traffic, which is 
five percent. Using the 1993 to 1995 accident data in 
Table 3-28 for State Highway 89 from State Highway 
71 to Peoples Valley as a basis, there would be an 
additional 0.5 multi-vehicle accidents and an additional 
three single-vehicle accidents over a three-year period, 
or approximately one additional accident annually. 
While the additional annual accident would impact 
emergency response organizations, almost all of the 
additional accidents are likely to involve only one 
vehicle (i.e., running off the road, hitting an animal, 
etc.). 

Road Maintenance. In general, mine-related traffic 
would only travel on State Highway 89 and 
approximately the first 1,000 feet of MinaRoad. Daily 
traffic would consist of approximately 1 00 workers and 
four deliveries. Workers would travel in automobiles 
and light-duty trucks (with some carpooling expected), 
and the four delivery vehicles would consist of one 
tractor-trailer (" 1 8-wheeler"), one single-axle truck and 
two small delivery vans (on average). ADOT does not 
have absolute criteria with which to judge the 
significance of the impact of these added vehicles. 
However, it would be reasonable to consider a 20- 
percent increase in truck traffic a significant impact. 
While there are no truck data available for State 
Highway 89 or Mina Road, it is assumed that the four 
added vehicles per day do not constitute a 20-percent 
increase in truck traffic. The 100 employee vehicles 



Any additional maintenance cost which would be 
incurred by Yavapai County (for Mina Road) or the 
state of Arizona (for State Highway 89) would likely be 
offset by the tax revenue which would be generated by 
the proposed project. Both the county and the state 
would receive tax revenue (through property and other 
taxes) from the proposed project. Refer to Section 
4.1.1 6.2 for more information on tax revenues. 

Road Closure. Under the proposed action, YMC 
would stop traffic on State Highway 89 during blasting 
operations as a public safeguard. The proposed 
blasting schedule calls for two blasts each week. The 
blasts are to occur only on weekdays, only during 
daylight hours and on a regularly scheduled basis (the 
schedule would be set on a week-to-week basis). 
Traffic would be stopped for approximately 1 minutes 
per blast. Northbound traffic would be stopped 
approximately 300 feet north of Milepost 275, and 
southbound traffic would be stopped approximately 
1 ,850 feet north of Milepost 276. This area is south of 
Glen Ilah, so access to Glen Ilah would not be affected. 
Traffic would also be stopped on Mina Road. 
Permanent signs would be installed to warn motorists 
that they are traveling in a blast area. 

Traffic control would be conducted by employees or 
contractors of YMC. The personnel controlling traffic 
would be in radio contact with the blast supervisor and 
would not release traffic until the "all clear signal" is 
given. Prior to the first production blast, YMC would 
submit a traffic control plan to the ADOT specifying 
sign placement and traffic control procedures. The 
plan would include a procedure for coordinating 
emergency vehicle service from the town of 



4-75 



Wickenburg to the town of Yarnell and surrounding 
communities. The blast control supervisor would have 
a clear view of the section of State Highway 89 
adjacent to the blasting area and would be in radio 
contact at all times. Blasting would be halted 
immediately in the event that emergency vehicles 
needed to use the highway (see also Section 4.1.16.2). 

4.1.12.2 Impact Mitigation 

The only impact to the transportation network in the 
Yarnell/Glen Hah area that requires mitigation is the 
stoppage of traffic during blasting. This would 
inconvenience area residents and could impact the 
ability for emergency vehicles to get to and from 
Wickenburg. As described above and in the MPO. 
YMC has outlined a plan for minimizing these impacts. 
In addition to blasting schedule and road closure 
notification to ADOT, YMC should also make road 
closure plans available to the County Sheriffs Office 
and the general public on a weekly basis (see also 
Section 4.1.14.2). 

4.1.12.3 Residual Effects 

During construction and operations, additional 
traffic (compared to current conditions) and the 
potential for additional traffic hazards would be 
generated by commuting employees and other project- 
related traffic. If the operation is implemented, there 
would be potential effects to emergency access to the 
Yarnell area from the south. However, the proposed 
road closures would represent only 0.2 percent of the 
time in a week. It is extremely unlikely that closures 
would coincide with the ambulance trips from 
Wickenburg (which average about 100 trips to the 
Yarnell area per year). Although emergency access is 
a significant issue and there could be a potential for 



delays in emergency access, the proposed 
blasting/transportation procedures incorporate a 
contingency plan for minimizing or preventing delays 
in such situations. 

Upon reclamation of the proposed mine site, there 
would be no residual impact to the area's roadway 
network with the exception of road wear. Again, the 
cost of repairing any road wear that occurs would likely 
be offset by tax revenues generated by the project. 

4.1.13 NOISE 

Project-related noise could affect public health and 
qualify of life in nearby communities. As discussed in 
Section 3.9.3. there are no federal, state or county 
regulations that apply to the off-site noise that would be 
generated by the proposed project. As a result, noise 
impact was assessed using impact criteria defined by 
the U.S. EPA (1974). 

Two sets of criteria were selected for use in evaluating 
the impacts of the proposed project. These criteria are 
presented in Table 4-15. The first set, public health, 
contains criteria considered adequate to protect against 
hearing loss and to protect public health and welfare. 
Specifically, the potential for noise-induced hearing loss is 
negligible if community noise levels are limited to 70 dBA 
(L^), and the potential for speech interference (i.e., the 
inability to hold a conversation outdoors in a normal tone 
of voice) is minimized if community noise levels are 
limited to 55 dBA (L dn ). 

The second set of criteria shown in Table 4-15 are 
generally accepted guidelines for the audibility and 
community reaction to new sources of noise. If a new 
source of noise is approximately 3 dBA louder than 
ambient noise levels, it will be barely audible and, 



4-76 







TABLE 4-15 
Noise Impact Criteria 






Public Health 


Audibility and Community Reaction 


To Protect 


Limit Noise 
To 


If Project Noise Exceeds 
Ambient Noise Bv 


Project Noise 
Would Be 


Expected Community 
Reaction Would Be 


Against 
hearing loss 


70 dBA (L eq ) 


3 dBA 


barely audible 


none 


Health and 

welfare 


55dBA(LJ 


5 dBA 
10 dBA 


audible 
distinctly audible 


some complaints 
numerous complaints 



Source: Based on information in U.S. EPA 1974. 

therefore, likely to elicit no complaints. If a new 
source of noise is 5 dBA louder than ambient noise 
levels, it will be audible by most of the general 
population and likely to elicit some complaints. At a 
level 10 dBA louder than ambient, noise from a new 
source will be distinctly audible and likely to elicit 
numerous complaints. These criteria are based on the 
results of a number of community noise studies 
summarized by the U.S. EPA. While many of the 
studies were conducted in areas more heavily populated 
than Yarnell/Glen Hah, the criteria are expected to 
provide a good indicator of potential impacts. 

4.1.13.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Noise Prediction Methodology. Noise levels from 
the proposed mining activities were predicted at six 
receptor locations shown in Figure 4-9. Locations 1 
and 2 represent individual residences. Receptors 3, 4 
and 5 represent three areas of Glen Ilah. Location 6 
represents Yarnell. Noise from the proposed mining 
activities would result mainly from diesel-powered 
earthmoving equipment such as bulldozers, haul trucks 
and loaders. Other noise sources include the crusher, 
electrical generators and portable light plants. Noise 
from blasting is much different in level and character 
than that from diesel-powered equipment and is 
discussed in Section 4.1.13.2. Noise levels were 
predicted in terms of the average hourly noise level 



(Lg,.) and the day-night noise level (L dn ). As mining is 
proposed 24 hours per day and noise levels are 
expected to be relatively constant throughout the course 
of any given day, the hourly average L eq provides a 
representation of the average noise level expected from 
the mine at any time. The L dn provides a level which 
reflects the greater impact of nighttime noise. 

Both the L L . q and L dn were predicted by extrapolating 
the noise level of each piece of equipment (measured 
by the manufacturer at a distance of 50 feet) to the 
distance of each receptor. The extrapolation included 
the effects of divergence (noise decreases as it travels 
away from a source), atmospheric absorption, the 
attenuation expected to be provided by hills and ridges, 
as well as the reflection of noise off of the pit wall. 

The effect of wind on noise propagation was also 
included in the predictions. Wind direction and wind 
speed data collected at the proposed project site in 
1 992 and 1 993 were used to predict the percentage of 
time each receptor would be upwind from the proposed 
project. When a receptor is upwind from a source and 
the wind speed is at least 10 miles per hour, noise from 
the source is bent skyward in the direction of the 
receptor (Power Plant Construction Noise Guide. 
Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation. 
May 1977). The result is a reduction of noise by at 
least 20 dBA below that which would be expected 



4-77 



under non-upwind conditions. Non-upwind conditions, 
which include when the winds are calm (less than 10 
mph), will change over the life of the proposed project 
as mining operations change. To simplify presentation 
of the data, only the loudest predicted level of the three 
years is presented herein. 

As discussed previously, noise levels were 
predicted for both upwind and non-upwind conditions. 
Based on wind direction data measured at the proposed 



mine site, all six receptors are expected to be upwind 
of the mine approximately 21 percent of the time 
during the daytime (7 am to 10 pm) and approximately 
65 percent of the time during the nighttime. 

The predicted noise levels are shown in tables 4-16 
and 4-17 in conjunction with the impact criteria 
discussed above. Table 4-16 presents the average 
hourly L cq and the L dn at each receptor for both upwind 
and non-upwind conditions. Table 4-17 presents the 



TABLE 4-16 

Predicted Noise Levels 

(dBA) 



Receptor 


Predicted L eq 


Hearing 

Loss 
Criteria 


Predicted L dn 


Health and 
Welfare 
Criteria 


Non-upwind 


Upwind 


Non-upwind 


Upwind 


1 


55 


35 


70 


61 


41 


55 


2 


69 


49 


70 


75 


55 


55 


3 


57 


37 


70 


63 


43 


55 


4 


55 


35 


70 


61 


41 


55 


5 


32 


12 


70 


38 


18 


55 


6 


24 


4 


70 


32 


12 


55 



TABLE 4-17 
Predicted Noise Level Increases 



Receptor 


Non-upwind Noise Level Increase 
and Expected Community Reaction 


Upwind Noise Level Increase 
and Expected Community Reaction 


Davtime 


Nighttime 


Davtime 


Nighttime 


1 


13 dBA 
numerous complaints 


20 dBA 
numerous complaints 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


2 


27 dBA 
numerous complaints 


34 dBA 
numerous complaints 


7 dBA 
some complaints 


14 dBA 
numerous complaints 


3 


15 dBA 
numerous complaints 


22 dBA 
numerous complaints 


OdBA 
none 


2 dBA 
none 


4 


13 dBA 
numerous complaints 


20 dBA 
numerous complaints 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


5 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


6 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 


OdBA 
none 



4-78 



difference between predicted mining noise levels and 
measured ambient noise levels. Daytime and nighttime 
ambient noise levels of 42 and 35 dBA, respectively, 
were used for this comparison. These levels were 
derived from the measured ambient noise levels 
discussed in Section 3.9.2. The table shows the 
difference in mining and ambient noise levels and the 
corresponding level of community reaction expected 
based on the criteria presented in Table 4-15. 

The following paragraphs describe the noise levels 
and noise impact expected at each receptor. As none of 
the predicted noise levels exceed the 70-dBA criteria 
for the protection against hearing loss, this impact 
criterion is not discussed further. 

Receptor 1 - Receptor 1 is a residence in Glen Ilah 
approximately 2,000 feet northwest of the proposed pit 
and 1 ,100 feet west of the NWRD. While there is a 
small hill between this residence and most of the 
proposed operations, predicted noise levels are 
relatively loud due to its proximity. During non- 
upwind conditions, the predicted L dn exceeds the EPA's 
55-dBA criterion for the protection of human health 
and welfare, and mining noise levels are expected to 
exceed ambient levels by 1 3 to 20 dBA. These levels 
would likely result in numerous complaints. Mining 
noise would be barely audible during upwind 
conditions. 

Receptor 2 - Receptor 2 is a residence on the west 
side of State Highway 89 approximately 1,500 feet 
west of the proposed pit. There is direct line of sight 
between this residence and most of the mining 
operations. The predicted L dn equals or exceeds EPA's 
health and welfare criterion during both non-upwind 
and upwind conditions. Mining noise levels are 
expected to be 27 dBA above daytime ambient noise 



levels and 34 dBA above nighttime levels. These 
levels would likely result in numerous complaints. 

Receptor 3 - Receptor 3 represents the group of 
residences on Mina Road near its intersection with 
State Highway 89. There is a small ridge which breaks 
line of sight from these residences to most of the 
mining operations. During the first year of mining, pit 
operations, which will take place at elevations as high 
as 5,000 feet MSL. and the hauling of ore to the 
NWRD will be the most audible mining activities. 
During non-upwind conditions, predicted mining noise 
levels exceed the EPA's health and welfare criterion 
and are 15 to 22 dBA above ambient noise levels. 
These levels would likely result in numerous 
complaints. Mining activities are expected to be 
inaudible during upwind conditions. 

Receptor 4 - Receptor 4 represents those residences 
in the southern part of Glen Ilah. The closest mining 
activity would be the haul road to the NWRD at a 
distance of approximately 3.000 feet. Line of sight 
from these residences to the mine site would vary, as 
this area consists of many small hills and large 
boulders. In general, however, there would be no 
direct line of sight to the mine. Similar to Receptor 3, 
the mine is expected to be very audible during non- 
upwind conditions and inaudible during upwind 
conditions. The predicted L dn exceeds EPA health and 
welfare criterion, and the noise from mining operations 
is expected to result in numerous complaints. 

Receptors 5 and 6 - Receptor 5 represents the 
residences in the northern part of Glen Ilah. which are 
at least one mile from the proposed mine site. Receptor 
6 represents Yarnell, which is about a mile from the 
proposed mine and behind a large ridge. Noise from 



4-81 



mining activities is expected to be inaudible at these 
locations at all times and under all wind conditions. 

Based on the results of the predicted noise level 
analysis, project-related noise would be heard by 
residents and other persons near the mine site. Many 
persons in this area would consider this noise as a 
major adverse effect on their perceived quality of life 
and lifestyles. Therefore, effects are considered 
significant. Effects would lessen during reclamation 
and cease after activity at the site is ended. 

4.1.13.2 Impact Mitigation 

There is currently one main mitigation measure 
incorporated into the MPO and included in the noise 
predictions. That measure is the location of the crusher 
and processing plant behind the ridge containing the 
Yarnell deposit. At this location, much of the noise 
from these sources would not reach area residences. If 
shown to be feasible and effective in blocking noise 
from traffic on haul roads, construction of earthen 
berms or barriers would be required as an additional 
mitigation measure. 

4.1.13 .3 Residual Effects 



4.1.14.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Blasting operations would be conducted at the 
Yarnell mine twice per week during daylight hours, 
generally between 9 am and 6 pm. The potential 
effects resulting from blasting operations are ground 
motion, air blast, flyrock and dust. 

Effects from Ground Motion. Ground motion, a 
shaking of the ground as a result of blasting, can cause 
damage to structures. Ground motion or peak particle 
velocity (PPV) is measured in inches per second. 

Research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines 
found that safe PPV criteria for low-frequency (less 
than 30 Hz) ground vibrations were 0.75 in/sec for 
modern gypsumboard houses, 0.50 in/sec for plaster- 
on-lath interiors and up to 1.0 in/sec with new 
construction. It should be noted that these levels were 
determined for cosmetic damage to structures or 
superficial interior cracking of the type that often 
occurs in homes independent of blasting. YMC has 
committed in the MPO to conduct blasting operations 
in compliance with the OSM Blasting Regulations. At 
higher frequencies (above 30 Hz), a PPV of 2.0 in/sec 
is safe and allowable under the OSM regulations. 



Because no additional mitigation is proposed, 
residual effects would be as described above. Adverse 
effects would be significant over the short term. 



4.1.14 



BLASTING 



Blasting concerns include impacts to the stability of 
natural features including boulders and aquifer systems, 
as well as the potential for damage to residences, 
structures, utility lines and roads. 



Two test blasts were performed by DBA. Inc. as 
part of the baseline environmental studies. In each of 
the blasts, a total of 300 pounds of explosives was 
detonated instantaneously in three drill holes. The 
weight of explosives detonated was greater than the 
235 pounds/delay that would be used initially by YMC 
in its blasting operations. In both test blasts, the PPV 
measured at the two nearest residences was below 0.05 
in/sec. At the Maricopa Tower, the PPV was 0.389 
in/sec (288 feet away) from blast number one and less 
than 0.10 in/sec (877 feet away) in blast number two. 



4-82 



These PPV levels are well below the safe criteria for 
property damage. Based on the information obtained 
from the test blasts, vibration levels at the residences 
nearest the blast sites should not approach the 0.5 
in/sec minimum criteria. 



blasting plan to detonate 235 pounds of explosive per 
delay, utilizing the scaled distance formula would allow 
YMC to blast up to about 840 feet from the tower. 
YMC would relocate the two microwave towers 
currently on the property. 



Yarnell Water Improvement Association water 
mains in Glen Ilah and several lots are inside the MSA 
in the northwest corner. The closest water main is 
about 1 ,750 feet from the nearest blasting area (crest of 
the pit). This water line is about 600 feet farther from 
the blasting area than the Lynn residence, where 
blasting vibrations would be monitored. Vibration 
would also be monitored at the Wilhite residence, the 
closest residence to blasting operations (approximately 
850 feet). Vibration levels monitored 1,142 feet from 
the test blast were less than 0.05 in/sec. Vibration from 
blasting would not be expected to damage these water 
lines. However, the water lines should be included in 
YMC's pre-blast surveys to document the construction 
and condition of the water lines. Therefore, a 
mitigation measure to conduct a pre-blast survey of 
these water lines has been recommended in Section 
4.1.14.2. 



As noted above, the OSM Blasting Regulations 
include alternatives to the scaled distance formula 
selected by YMC for its initial blasting plan, which 
could allow YMC to detonate more explosive per eight 
milliseconds delay, thus increasing vibration levels to 
near the regulatory limits. No damage would be 
expected, but the degree of annoyance could increase. 

Effects from Flyrock, Dust and Gas. Rock cast 
into the air from blasting operations is referred to as 
flyrock. Excessive flyrock usually results from a 
poorly designed blast or from zones of weakness in the 
rock. YMC proposes to log blast holes during drilling 
and report any unusual structures, voids, soft rock, mud 
seams and ground faults to the blasting supervisor so 
that special precautions can be taken when loading 
these holes. This procedure would help to minimize 
flyrock caused by any of the problematic conditions. 



As the pit deepens and rock structures change, the 
vibration characteristics of the mine would also change. 
An estimate of PPV was made using a general use 
equation from the Dupont Blasters Handbook (16th 
edition, page 426). The equation predicts a PPV of 
about 0.3 in/sec at the closest residences to the blast 
site using the scaled distance that YMC proposed in its 
blasting plan. This is still well within the safety criteria 
for structural damage at the nearest residences. The 
general use equation also results in higher predicted 
PPV values at the Maricopa Tower than those 
measured in the test blast (1.78 in/sec predicted vs. 
0.389 in/sec measured). Under its proposed initial 



Flyrock would mainly be a hazard to mine 
personnel and equipment since access to the blasting 
area is controlled and traffic on Highway 89 and the 
gravel road through the area would be stopped during 
blasting. It is unlikely that flyrock would cause any 
off-site damage or safety hazard. 

Blasting operations would also generate a dust and 
gas plume. This plume would slowly dissipate and may 
result in increased dust at residences nearest the site. 
Gases from blasting are primarily carbon monoxide and 
oxides of nitrogen. An orange tint of the plume would 
indicate the presence of nitrogen oxides, which is 



4-83 



usually the result of inefficient detonation due to wet 
conditions or weak or degraded explosives. 

Effects from Airblast. Air overpressure or airblast 
is the airborne shock wave from the detonation of 
explosives. Airblast may or may not be audible, 
depending on its frequency. The main causes of 
airblast are the movement of burden (earth) and release 
of expanding gas into the air. The loudness of the 
airblast is not an indication of its magnitude. 

Airblast is also affected by terrain and by 
atmospheric conditions such as temperature inversions, 
overcast conditions, strong winds and other conditions 
that can focus and intensify the airblast. As noted in 
the OSM Blasting Guidance Manual, air overpressure 
is difficult to predict with any level of certainty. 
Airblast levels from the two test blasts were less than 
115 dB, except for a 126-dB level recorded at the 
Maricopa Microwave Tower some 288 feet from the 
test blast number one site. Operating blasting 
conditions would differ from the test blast. Once 
operations have begun, blasting would usually be 
conducted with an exposed pit wall and voids, and 
weakened rock conditions may be encountered. The 
presence of mud seams, void spaces and weak zones 
can contribute to airblast through the release of the gas 
pulse. 

YMC proposes to take precautions when loading 
these areas to prevent excessive airblast. The first 
damage effects from airblast are broken windows at the 
nearest residences. The Bureau of Mines research 
indicates occasional breakage of plate glass can occur 
at 1 4 1 dB, while normal size window pane breakage can 
occasionally occur at 1 5 1 dB or slightly higher. These 
levels are higher than the maximum recorded in the test 
blasts and the OSM limits and would not be expected 



to occur from the proposed blasting operations. The 
Bureau of Mines noted in Bulletin 656 that blasting 
operations designed to keep vibration less than 2.0 
in/sec PPV do not generate the air blast overpressures 
that are significant factors causing damage to 
residential structures. 

Annoyance Effects. Both vibration and airblast 
could be expected to cause annoyance to persons near 
the mine site. Annoyance is very subjective and 
depends on public perception of the mining operation. 
It is difficult to define an annoyance level for airblast 
because a particular event may or may not be audible. 
Annoyance from air overpressure is completely 
subjective and can depend on whether or not the event 
is audible. Levels exceeding 120 dB produce 
annoyance and fright from rattling of the structure as is 
the case with sonic booms. Airblast from blasting 
operations could cause annoyance at the nearest 
residences to the blast site. An inaudible low 
frequency airblast less than 1 20 dB may be perceived, 
but go largely unnoticed, while a higher frequency 
(audible) blast of the same magnitude may be annoying. 
Complaints about vibrations can occur at any level; 
however, they are unusual below 0.08 in/sec PPV. 
Complaints can be expected at a PPV of around 0.25. 
Depending upon the blast location, PPVs could be in 
this range in Glen Ilah and Yarnell. Therefore, 
complaints could come from the closest residents to the 
blasting operations and may come from residents of 
Glen Ilah and Yarnell as well. 

In addition to the vibration and airblast annoyances, 
traffic delays would likely cause annoyance for people 
stopped during blasting operations. Northbound and 
southbound traffic would be stopped approximately 
2,000 feet and 1,500 feet, respectively, from the 
blasting area. People who would be stopped may 



4-84 



perceive the vibration and airblast, may hear the 
warning sirens of the blast and could even be startled or 
uneasy. The degree of annoyance would likely be 
subjective, depending on the individual's perception of 
the operation, the individual's urgency to get to his or 
her destination and the overall awareness of the 
situation and process. To reduce the degree of 
annoyance, YMC narrowed the blasting time period 
from the "daylight" hours to generally between the 9 
am to 6 pm period. More precise blasting schedules for 
highway closure would be submitted to the ADOT on 
a weekly basis. 

Effects from Falling Rocks and Boulders. Soils 
with the presence of large surface boulders occur in the 
area. The maintenance division of the ADOT in 
Prescott indicated (personal communication, August 9, 
1996) that falling rocks are a continual maintenance 
task along State Highway 89. Rocks are dislodged 
after nearly every storm and freeze-thaw cycle. On 
occasion, dislodged rocks have been discovered after 
high winds. Considering the rock movement from 
normal weather and erosion, blasting operations could 
contribute to increased rock movement and resulting 
hazards. 

Blasting operations would be conducted within 
several hundred feet of State Highway 89. The 
frequency of falling rock and subsequent hazards could 
increase by an unknown degree. Impacts from blasting 
would be short term, and no damage to property would 
be expected from blasting operations. It is unlikely that 
potential hazards from dislodged boulders near Glen 
Ilah residences would increase. However, the potential 
hazards along State Highway 89 from dislodged rock 
may increase. Implementation of planned mitigation 
measures should minimize potential hazards from 
dislodged boulders. 



4.1.14.2 Impact Mitigation 

YMC would comply with OSM regulations 
designed to prevent property damage and safety 
hazards from blasting operations. In addition, YMC 
proposes to conduct pre-blast surveys of dwellings and 
structures within a certain radius of the blasting site. 
Surveys would be performed to document the condition 
of the property prior to conducting blasting operations. 

YMC would limit airblasts to 129 decibels (dB) 
(actual limitations vary depending on the frequency of 
the measuring system). Ground motion would be 
controlled by the use of millisecond delays to separate 
the explosives used in a blast into a number of separate 
detonations. If the interval between delays is at least 
eight milliseconds, the detonations can be treated 
separately, and the effects are not cumulative. 

The OSM regulations contain formulas known as 
scaled distance equations and several other methods to 
control ground motion. The scaled distance formula 
determines the weight of explosives that can be 
detonated within any eight-millisecond period based on 
the distance of a structure from the blast. The scaled 
distance formula would be used by YMC to control 
vibration at nearest residences. 

YMC proposes measures to ensure public safety, 
including pre-blast inspections of slope conditions 
within a certain radius of the proposed blast area. 
Routine visual inspections would be conducted along 
the slopes above the highway to document (using 
35mm photography) existing slope conditions and to 
identify any potential safety hazards. The visual 
inspections would complement existing ADOT 
inspections, which includes daily driving of State 
Highway 89 and observing potential rock hazards. In 



4-85 



addition, ADOT personnel patrol the highway after 
every significant storm or every freeze-thaw cycle. 

YMC would use a packaged emulsion blasting 
agent where wet conditions are encountered, which 
should minimize production of gases such as nitrogen 
oxides. Additional discussion regarding air quality 
impacts is presented in the Air Quality Section of this 
chapter. 

Additional mitigation measures could be considered 
to further reduce the impacts of blasting, including the 
following. 

♦ YMC could further limit its time window for 
blasting from the proposed 9 am to 6 pm period. 
Blasting should be avoided in the more tranquil 
early morning and late afternoon periods. By 
confining the blasting period to the higher 
community activity periods and by informing the 
public more closely when blasting can be 
expected, the degree of annoyance may be 
reduced. 

♦ YMC should not increase the quantity of 
explosives detonated per eight milliseconds 
delay above the maximum obtained from the 
scaled distance formula used in Table 7.2 of the 
MPO. 

♦ Blasting in certain atmospheric conditions, such 
as during inversions, overcast (low ceiling) and 
strong wind periods, can deflect or intensify 
airblast. Blasting during these conditions should 
be avoided. 

♦ The use of a "noiseless" detonating cord such as 
Nonel or burying of conventional detonating 
cord should occur to reduce airblast and noise. 

♦ Notice of road closures should be made 
generally available to the local public and the 



County Sheriffs Office on a weekly basis as 
they would be to the ADOT. Closure times 
should be posted on signs along the stretch of 
highway and made otherwise available to the 
public. This would allow individuals to plan for 
closures and reduce annoyance from road 
closures. A road closure sign should be posted 
on a flat segment of Highway 89 downhill from 
the mine. This would alleviate a dangerous 
condition of heavy trucks parked on a steep 
grade waiting to proceed to Yarnell. 

♦ The slope monitoring plan proposed by YMC 
could be enhanced to specifically document 
means to assess pre -mining slope conditions and 
boulder placement where a hazard could be 
created by blasting operations. Hazardous areas 
could be identified and monitored during 
operations. If specific hazards were identified, 
blasting vibration could be controlled near the 
hazardous areas and potential hazards could be 
removed or otherwise mitigated. 

♦ YMC should conduct a pre-blast survey of the 
Yarnell Water Improvement Association water 
mains in the northwest corner of the MSA. The 
survey should at a minimum attempt to 
document the construction methods, location 
and condition of the water lines. 

4.1.143 Residual Effects 

Effects of airblast. vibration and traffic delays could 
cause annoyance during the six years of mining. 



4-86 



4.1.15 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND 

CYANIDE MANAGEMENT 

4.1.15.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Hazardous Materials. Relatively large volumes of 
hazardous and potentially hazardous chemicals and 
materials would be transported to and stored within the 
project area including blasting agents and explosives, 
solid and liquid sodium cyanide, hydrochloric acid, 
ammonium nitrate, diesel fuel, gasoline and motor oil. 
The transport, storage and handling of these materials 
would represent an ongoing potential for spills that 
could adversely affect the environment and the safety 
of the public and project employees. 

In addition to the potential for a spill or accident 
involving a specific hazardous material, some of the 
chemicals and other materials stored in the project area 
are incompatible and reactive substances. The MPO 
states that reactive materials would not be stored near 
each other. Furthermore, the use of these chemicals at 
a gold mine is a standard practice and recognized 
potential hazard, which employee training and proper 
handling practices would be expected to prevent. It is 
extremely unlikely that the use of any materials within 
the project mine and process areas would pose any risk 
to individuals off site. 

There would be a potential for public safety-related 
impacts due to the transport of hazardous chemicals to 
the project area via public highways and access roads. 
Hazardous chemical spillage occurring due to a 
transport accident is unlikely, but the potential for 
occurrence cannot be entirely eliminated. 



YMC has proposed a number of plans and 
procedures to reduce the potential effects of spills or 
accidents. 

♦ project design construction and reclamation, 

♦ site security and safety measures, 

♦ fire protection procedures, 

♦ emergency response and notification 
procedures, 

♦ best management practices for materials, 
transportation, handling and storage, 

♦ contingency planning for accidental discharges, 

♦ spill prevention control and countermeasure 
planning and 

♦ compliance with U.S. Mine Safety and Health 
Administration (MSHA) and National Institute 
for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 
provisions. 

These procedures would be implemented by YMC 
throughout all phases of the project including 
reclamation and closure. Therefore, the potential 
adverse effects resulting from the transportation, 
storage and handling of hazardous materials is not 
considered significant. 

Potential Hazards from Use of Cyanide in Ore 
Processing. Cyanide has been used in various 
processing methods to extract metals from ore for more 
than 100 years. The technology of using cyanide as 
part of a heap leach process was refined in the 1970s. 
Commercial applications of the technology have 
rapidly grown because it is one of the only 
economically feasible methods to extract gold and 
silver from low-grade ore deposits. 



4-87 



Sodium cyanide is a hazardous substance which is 
toxic to living creatures. Because of its toxicity, there 
are many concerns related to its use, including: 

♦ its extreme toxicity, 

♦ the transportation of cyanide to the project site, 

♦ the potential hazardous effects to employees 
during handling and use, 

♦ the possibility of a spill during handling and 
storage at the mine site, 

♦ the hazards associated with the production of 
hydrogen cyanide gas (HCN), 

♦ wildlife deaths, particularly of migratory birds, 
by drinking cyanide process solutions from open 
ponds, 

♦ spills that could contact surface or groundwater, 
affecting human drinking water or fish and 
wildlife and 

♦ the adequacy and enforcement of existing laws 
and regulations governing mining operations 
that use cyanide. 

Sodium cyanide has a fairly complex chemistry. In 
heap leach operations, the cyanide solution must be 
maintained under carefully controlled conditions. 
Otherwise, the solution begins to decompose, making 
the solution both less useful for extracting gold and less 
hazardous. 

While cyanide is lethal in large (acute) doses, it 
does not accumulate in the body as a result of a number 
of small exposures over time (it has a low chronic 
toxicity). When cyanide is ingested, highly toxic 
hydrocyanic acid can form and react with iron in the 
blood to destroy the blood's ability to carry oxygen to 
the body. If the dose is strong enough, death could 
result. If not, the kidneys purge cyanide from the blood 
and the body recovers. 



Although employees at heap leach operations work 
in proximity to the process solutions, there are no 
known cases of accident or severe illness directly due 
to cyanide exposure. This is due to several factors. 
Cyanide in the process solutions would be of a dilute 
concentration (less than 500 ppm) and operating 
conditions are tightly controlled to prevent the 
formation of HCN gas. 

Forms of cyanide include free cyanide, weak to 
moderately strong aqueous complexes with metals and 
solid compounds that vary in solubility. In the natural 
environment, cyanide breaks down to less harmful 
substances. The main mechanisms of cyanide 
degradation and attenuation include volatilization, 
biodegradation complexation, adsorption and oxidation 
to cyanate (California Mining Association 1992). 

Volatilization of cyanide is one of the main 
attenuation mechanisms in the unsaturated zone (Smith 
and Mudder 1991). If soils buffer the pH to below 
about 8.3, volatilization will occur, with the limiting 
attenuation time factor being the rate at which HCN gas 
migrates through soils. 

Biodegradation occurs mainly under aerobic 
conditions and depends on the amounts of oxygen, 
organic matter and cyanide -degrading bacteria available 
in soils. 

Cyanide may also form relatively insoluble 
precipitates with other metals that are not readily 
dissolved in water. 

The conversion of cyanide to less harmful 
substances can occur rapidly depending on site-specific 
characteristics. As such, cyanide breaks down into 
harmless substances upon exposure to ultraviolet light, 



minerals and micro-organisms frequently found in 
soils. Precipitation or other contact with water can also 
quickly dilute cyanide solutions to non-toxic levels. 

Transportation of Hazardous Materials. The 

following hazardous materials would need to he 
transported to the mine on a regular hasis (delivery 
frequencies approximate). 

♦ lime (two deliveries per week), 

♦ sodium cyanide (two deliveries per month), 

♦ caustic soda (one delivery per month), 

♦ anti-scaling agent (four deliveries per year) and 

♦ diesel fuel and gasoline (about one and one-half 
deliveries per week). 

All of the shipments would arrive at the mine via 
truck. Lime would be delivered in bulk and transferred 
to on-site silos. Sodium cyanide would be delivered in 
solid briquette form in one of three commercially 
available containers (stainless steel bins, lined plywood 
boxes or bulk containers) depending on market 
availability. Caustic soda and other chemical agents 
would be delivered in drums. Fuels would be delivered 
by tanker trucks and off-loaded into on-site storage 
tanks. 

Most of the hazardous materials would be expected 
to originate in the Phoenix area, with the exception of 
fuels which may originate more locally. Deliveries 
from the Phoenix area would likely take one of the 
following two routes to Yarnell: 

♦ I- 1 to 1-303 to US 60 to US 93 to SH 89 

♦ 1-17 to SH 74 to US 60 to US 93 to SH 89 

The probability estimate of a hazardous materials 
shipment being involved in an accident and releasing 



material into the environment was calculated using the 
method developed by Harwood et al. (1990). The 
methodology is an adaptation of what the authors refer 
to as "the most widely accepted risk assessment model 
for identifying preferred routes for hazardous materials 
transportation." The model referred to is that 
developed by the Federal Highway Administration and 
published in Guidelines for Applying Criteria to 
Designate Routes for Transporting Hazardous 
Materials, 1980. 

The calculation takes into consideration current 
truck accident rates, the probability that an accident 
will cause a release of hazardous material, the length of 
the route traveled from the source of the material to the 
mine and the number of deliveries over the life of the 
project. Over the six-year life of the mine, the 
probability estimate of a release of hazardous materials 
was calculated to be 0.02 for both of the routes. That 
is, over the life of the mine, 0.02 accidents resulting in 
a release would be expected to occur. 

All of the hazardous materials would be transported 
by commercial carriers in accordance with Title 49 of 
the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and licensed by 
the Arizona Department of Transportation. Shipping 
papers must be readily available and contain 
information describing all materials, associated health 
risks and procedures for handling spills. 

4.1.15.2 Impact Mitigation 

As noted above, YMC has incorporated measures 
into its proposed plans to control potential effects from 
hazardous materials including cyanide. Reclamation 
and closure activities include rinsing (neutralization) of 
the heap leach, reclamation of the solution ponds and 
disposal (in an approved waste disposal site) of any 



4-89 



hazardous wastes. No additional mitigation measures 
would be required. In addition. ADEQ would process 
an aquifer protection permit including provisions for 
groundwater protection. Mitigation measures to reduce 
the potential effects of cyanide on wildlife are 
discussed in the Wildlife section of this chapter. 

4.1.15.3 Residual Effects 

With proper implementation of YMC's plans, 
residual effects to public and employee health and 
safety would be negligible. However, the potential for 
project-related accidents or discharges of hazardous 
materials cannot be totally eliminated through 
implementation of these plans. 

4.1.16 SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS 

Social and economic issues include potential effects 
to employment, income, property values, local 
businesses, tourism, tax revenues, crime rates, public 
services, social structures and quality of life. The 
magnitude of potential social and economic impacts 
from implementation of the proposed project is 
quantified in this analysis wherever possible. In 
addition, there would be qualitative impacts. For 
example, effects to existing social structures and to 
quality of life are highly subjective based on individual 
and group values, beliefs, goals and expectations; these 
effects can only be discussed in qualitative terms. 

4.1.16.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 

Major factors which would affect the timing and 
magnitude of socioeconomic impacts from the Yarnell 
Project include: 



♦ economic and other study area characteristics as 
discussed in Chapter 3, 

♦ the project hiring schedule (timing and number 
of employees), 

♦ the existence of a locally available workforce, 

♦ the need for additional workers (and their 
dependents) to migrate into the area, 

♦ the attitudes and public perceptions of existing 
residents of the study area, 

♦ the willingness and ability of these residents to 
adjust to lifestyle disruption and other change 
and 

♦ perceived and real risks to health or the 
environment. 

Once the above factors are assessed, other effects of 
the proposed project can be estimated. For example, 
total project employment and the number of 
inmi grating workers and families would be the primary 
determinants of project-related effects to local 
economic conditions, population, housing needs, 
community services and infrastructure needs, and fiscal 
conditions of affected government jurisdictions. Social 
effects would be primarily determined by the degree of 
change to existing social structures, lifestyles and 
quality of life compared to the willingness and ability 
to adjust to these changes. 

Effects to elements of the existing social and 
economic environments would be considered either 
adverse or beneficial depending upon individual and/or 
group values, beliefs and goals. For example, persons 
who are "anti-project" (based on scoping comments) 
generally tend to believe that any benefits of the project 
would be outweighed by adverse changes to the quality 
of their lives. Persons who support the proposed 
project would tend to believe that economic benefits 
(e.g., employment and wages) outweigh adverse effects 



4-90 



and/or that the need for mining satisfies a societal need 
for certain products. 

Impact Assessment Approach. Because future 
economic conditions are unknown, a series of 
reasonable assumptions must be made to estimate the 
potential effects of employment on population and 
other elements of the existing socioeconomic 
environment. In addition to assuming the level and 
timing of inmigrating employees and their families, 
assumptions must be made as to the residency location 
of local hires (existing residents of the study area) and 
where the inmigrating workers/families would live. For 
purposes of this impact analysis, residency areas have 
been identified as follows. 

♦ Yarnell 

♦ Congress 

♦ Prescott 

♦ Other Yavapai County 

♦ Wickenburg 

♦ Other Maricopa County 

Assumptions used in this analysis are summarized 
in Table 4-18. The projected residency areas reflect, in 
part, initial information from employment applications 
received by YMC. 



demographics, mining employee willingness to 
commute, typical multiplier effects for mining projects 
and other factors. The importance of assumptions in 
projecting impacts is illustrated in the Assumption 
Sensitivity Analysis discussion later in this section. 

Effects to Employment, Income and the Economy. 

All mine alternatives would have a measurable short- 
term effect on employment and income within the study 
area. Because the effects would be spread out over a 
fairly large area, no one community would be the 
recipient of this employment/income effect. Therefore, 
it is unlikely that there would be a large-scale 
boom/bust economic cycle associated with the project. 
However, effects of the relatively high-paying mining 
jobs within the specific rural portions of the study area 
(e.g., Yarnell, Congress and other rural areas within 
Yavapai County) would be significant compared to 
current conditions. The employment and income 
benefits of the proposed project would be short-term in 
duration. 

Direct Employment Effects - An important factor 
affecting social and economic effects is the number, 
type and schedule of direct project employment. 
Projected employment requirements and schedule 
considerations, as proposed by YMC, include: 



All assumptions used in this impact analysis were 
generated independently from any YMC data, but the 
YMC employment applications were used to verify that 
the potential employment base would include a very 
broad geographic area (including both Yavapai and 
Maricopa counties) and that interest of existing 
residents for this type of work is high. The 
assumptions are reasonable, given all current 
information, and are consistent with a wide body of 
literature and other EISs on mining employment 



♦ facility construction is projected to take three 
months with YMC acting as the general 
contractor; 

♦ local subcontractors would be hired as needed 
on a short-term basis for site preparation, liner 
installation, crusher installation, process plant 
construction and buildings; 

♦ peak construction employment would be about 
90 workers; 



4-91 



TABLE 4-18 
Assumptions Used in Projecting Potential Effects to Employment, Population and Housing 



Category 


Assumption 


Employee Immigration - Construction, Operations and Indirect Workers 


20% 


Local Hire - Construction, Operations and Indirect Workers 


80% 


Indirect Employment Multiplier 


.45 indirect 




per 1 direct 


Proportion of Inmigrating Workers Married: 




Construction 


30% 


Operations 


80% 


Indirect 


60% 


Children per Inmigrating Worker: 




Construction 


.1 


Operations 


1.3 


Indirect 


.5 


Percent in School 


65% 


Residency Area of Local Hired (Construction and Operations): 




Yarnell 


10% 


Congress 


5% 


Wickenburg 


20% 


Prescott 


20% 


Other Yavapai County 


20% 


Other Maricopa County 


25% 


Residency Area for Inmigrating Workers (Construction and Operations): 




Yarnell 


15% 


Congress 


5% 


Wickenburg 


20% 


Prescott 


20% 


Other Yavapai County 


20% 


Other Maricopa County 


20% 


Housing Units Needed by Inmigrating Employees (Construction, Operations and Indirect) 


1 unit 




per worker 



♦ a team of core management personnel (five to 
10 persons) would be recruited from existing 
company personnel and/or from the mining 
industry in the western U.S.; and 

♦ although actual employment numbers could vary 
slightly from projections, current estimated 
operations phase manpower requirements 
include: 



Mining 


33 employees 


Crushing 


12 


Processing 


14 


Maintenance 


15 


Engineering 


6 


Administration 


_9 


TOTAL 


89 



YMC has committed to hire and train local workers 
as much as possible. YMC has identified 57 operations 
phase positions (out of the total projected 89 jobs) 



4-92 



which could be filled through company-provided 
training efforts. 

YMC anticipates hiring approximately three 
professionals for engineering and administrative 
positions which may require employee inmigration into 
the study area. It is also possible that some skilled 
positions may require inmigration of employees. 

The majority of workers needed during the 
construction phase of the project would be employed 
by contractors retained by YMC. These contractors 
would be on site during relatively short periods, not to 
exceed the projected three-month construction period. 
Some contract personnel would be expected to 
commute relatively long distances (e.g., from the 
Phoenix metropolitan area); others would bring 
campers for short stays in area RV parks or stay in 
regional apartments or motels. 

Estimated direct project-related employment effects 
are shown in Table 4-19. Even though the project 
would be near Yarnell, there would be relatively few 
persons living in Yarnell who would be associated with 
the project through direct employment. Yavapai County 
would contribute the majority of workers. Because 
direct employment would be spread out among a 
number of residency areas, the number of project 
workers would constitute a very small percentage of 
existing employment in all residential areas. 

Most direct employees are projected to be local 
hires (e.g., persons already living in residency areas 
within the overall study area). This would limit the 
need for direct employment through worker 
inmigration. Table 4-20 shows the projected sources 
and levels of local hires for the project. 



Indirect Employment Effects - Growth in basic 
industries such as construction and mining creates 
indirect employment opportunities, primarily in the 
service and retail trade sectors (e.g., in restaurants and 
retail stores). Because there is easy access to existing 
major retail centers in urban areas (e.g., Wickenburg, 
Prescott and northern Phoenix) and because the 
employment is projected to be spread out among a 
variety of residential areas, indirect employment effects 
from the proposed project would not be extensive. 

Most mining workers are not expected to remain in 
the Yarnell area beyond their working hours because of 
the lack of entertainment facilities in Yarnell. It is 
possible that Yarnell could see an increase in 
employment associated with restaurants, taverns, gas 
stations and other service establishments. However, 
since most workers would be commuting to the Yarnell 
area for their work shifts, workers would have other 
opportunities for fulfilling these needs. 

Peak indirect employment (see Table 4-21) is 
projected to be 44 persons in Project Year 1. Most 
indirect workers would be existing residents of the 
study area. 

Income Effects - Average income (wages) per new 
mine operations phase worker would be about $36,000 
per year. These wages would be consistent with 
existing mining and construction wages throughout the 
western U.S. These wages, however, would be higher 
than average wages in the study area and would be 
attractive to many persons seeking higher wages. Total 
direct operations phase annual income would be more 
than $3.2 million. 

Generally, workers would spend most of their 
earned wages in their permanent residence community. 



4-93 



TABLE 4-19 
Total Direct Employment by Residency Area 





Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


11 

5 

20 
20 


10 
5 
18 
18 


56 

20 

24 


51 
18 

00 


44 
100 


40 
91 



TABLE 4-20 
Direct Local Hires by Residency Area 





Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


8 
4 
16 
16 


7 
4 
14 
14 


44 


39 


16 
20 


14 

18 


36 


32 


80 


71 



TABLE 4-21 
Total Indirect Employment by Residency Area 





Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


2 
1 

5 
5 


5 
2 

9 
9 


13 

5 
5 


25 

9 
10 


10 
23 


19 
44 



4-94 



TABLE 4-22 
Total Annual Direct and Indirect Income During Operations Phase by Residency Area 





Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


$435,000 
210.000 
783,000 
783.000 


2.211.000 

783.000 
942.000 


1.725.000 
$3,936,000 



These expenditures by workers would generate indirect 
employment (see discussion above). Assuming an 
average annual income of $ 1 5.000 for indirect workers, 
total annual income due to direct and indirect 
employment would be about $3.9 million during the 
operations phase (see Table 4-22). 

Other Economic Effects - The proposed project 
could affect existing business patterns and the 
emerging economy in Yarnell concerning tourism and 
antiques/arts. The sources for these effects could arise 
from potential conflict with businesses and/or their 
customers with mining-related effects such as noise, 
traffic and degradation of visual or air resources. Some 
visitors could be displaced because of these effects, and 
some businesses could have to adjust to project-related 
changes in the local economy in Yarnell. Generally, 
however, many travelers passing through Yarnell are 
on their way to other destinations, and most of the 
businesses in Yarnell are located in areas where the 
effects of dust and noise would be minimal. It is 
unlikely that the proposed project would significantly 
reduce the number of persons traveling on State 
Highway 89 or reduce their inclination to shop at 
Yarnell businesses or visit the Shrine of St. Joseph. 



The ultimate magnitude of any effects cannot be 
predicted at this time; any effects would occur over a 
period of years until they became more integrated into 
the economy. 

Permanent or Temporary Closure - Al the cud of 
the mining operations, employment would be scaled 
back as mining is curtailed and final closure and 
reclamation begin. After project closure, former 
project employees would either leave or remain in the 
study area. Social and economic adjustment to closure 
of the project would occur over a period of years. 

The mine could experience temporary shutdowns or 
periods when operations and, therefore, employment 
may be cut back. Cyclical production slowdowns are 
difficult to predict because such events are due to a 
combination of circumstances including fluctuations in 
metal prices, labor costs, production costs, profitability 
of the mining company and effects of national and 
international political and economic events. 

The length of time unemployed workers would be 
willing to wait for work to continue would be 
influenced by the availability and terms of 



4-95 



unemployment or severance pay. availability of other 
job opportunities and strength of ties to the community. 
Noticeable economic and social stresses within the 
study area could occur during transition periods 
involving re-hiring of direct and indirect employees 
and/or hiring of new employees to replace those who 
may have left the area after being laid off. 



Based on the residence location assumptions 
discussed previously, housing effects would be spread 
throughout the study area according to where 
inmigrating workers live. Local hires (existing 
residents of the study area who would commute to the 
site from their existing homes) would not require new 
housing. 



Effects to Population. All action alternatives 
would cause a short-term but small population increase 
in the study area. Population effects are measured by 
the number, timing and location of the inmigrating 
population associated with the proposed project. The 
new population includes direct employees, indirect 
employees, spouses and children living with their 
parents. 

Generally, population effects would parallel 
employment requirements. Population growth would 
total about 74 persons in the overall study area, as 
shown in Table 4-23. The population of Yarnell would 
grow by an estimated 10 persons. This increase would 
constitute about 1 .25 percent of the existing population 
in Yarnell. Project-related population increases in any 
residency area would not exceed 1 to 2 percent of the 
existing population. Population-related effects would 
not be significant. 

Effects on Housing and Property Values. The 

project would have effects on housing and property 
values. Potential effects are summarized below. 

Housing Needs - All action alternatives would have 
a short-term effect on housing in the study area. 
Housing availability and costs would be a major 
determinant of residency location decisions by 
inmigrating workers. 



Projected housing effects are shown in Table 4-24. 
Housing needs would generally be met by existing 
supply in all residency areas, and incremental housing 
demand effects would not be significant. Any new 
mobile home park development in unincorporated 
Yavapai County would have to meet county zoning 
requirements and be in conformance with U.S. 
Department of Housing and Urban Development 
(HUD) standards. 

Property Values - Yarnell residents have expressed 
concern over potential adverse effects to property 
values because of the presence of the mine. These 
residents believe that declines in property values could 
accrue because of direct views of the mining operations 
and facilities, exposure to noise and other reasons 
related to the desirability of Yarnell as a residential 
location. 

Another concern is that there will be a limited 
demand for nearby property at any price. A local 
realtor, Hill Top Realty, reports that since they "have 
begun disclosing the possibility of this mining project 
and recommending that prospective buyers read the 
mining plan .... we have lost sales several times and, of 
course, especially sales of those properties near the 
mining area" (Hill Top Realty, 1996). 

While property and housing sales have still 
occurred in the Yarnell area since the time that the 



4-96 



TABLE 4-23 
Inmigrating Population by Residency Area 





Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


5 
2 
7 
7 


10 
4 
15 
15 


21 

7 
8 


44 

15 

15 


15 
36 


30 

74 



TABLE 4-24 
Housing Needs for Inmigrating Population 





Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


3 

1 

5 
5 


4 
1 

5 
5 


14 

5 
5 


15 

5 
6 


10 
24 


11 
26 



mining project was announced by YMC, it is also clear 
that there is a great deal of uncertainty about property 
values in the area. Many potential buyers and sellers 
are waiting to see what happens with the mining 
project. This uncertainty will likely remain until a 
decision on the mine is made, and the project either 
goes forward into development/production or is not 
developed and all mining-related activities at the site 
cease. 

This uncertainty over property values, however, has 
not necessarily affected assessed values derived by the 



County Assessor's office. By state law, assessed values 
are based on market values and, therefore, represent 
one indicator of recent and current property values in 
any specific area. Generally, assessed values in and 
around Yarnell including Glen Hah have steadily 
increased in recent years. The Assessor's office does 
not typically consider potential adverse effects (e.g., a 
nearby mining project) on property values until they 
occur, based on actual sales data (Yavapai County 
Assessor's Office, 1996). 



4-97 



A preliminary review (Yavapai County Assessor's 
Office 1 997) of property/housing sales in the Glen Ilah 
area indicated that there were three properties which 
have been sold and subsequently resold during the 
1 995-96 period. Both the original sale and subsequent 
resale of the three properties would have occurred after 
the Yarnell Project had been formally proposed in the 
original (1994) MPO submitted by YMC to the BLM. 
Therefore, this sales data could give some indication of 
the effect of the proposed mine on property values. In 
all three cases, the subsequent resale of the property 
was higher than the original sales price. In another 
case, a property which sold in May 1994 (before the 
mine was proposed) was resold at a higher price in 
February 1996 (after the mine was proposed). Of 
course, every property is different, and it is clear that 
the proposed action would affect the marketability and 
subsequent market value of some property greater than 
others. 

Based upon available relevant literature and 
evidence collected from the area, several general 
conclusions can be made about changes in the 
marketability of property and property values caused by 
the proposed project. 

♦ There is some evidence that the potential for 
mining development has already adversely 
affected the marketability of some existing 
properties in the immediate vicinity of the mine 
(e.g., Glen Ilah or other residences with a direct 
view of the mining site). 

♦ While marketability of some properties has 
already been affected, there is no indication that 
a widespread downward trend in property values 
had occurred by 1 996 (based on the limited sales 
data noted above). 



♦ It is likely that property values in the immediate 
vicinity of the mine site would tend to decrease 
during mining operations. 

♦ Affected property values could be expected to 
increase to some extent as reclamation proceeds 
and operations cease. 

♦ There is no indication that property outside the 
immediate vicinity of the mine has already been 
affected either in marketability or in value. 

♦ There is no indication that property outside the 
immediate vicinity of the mine would be 
substantially affected in the future either in 
marketability or in value. 

♦ If the mine is approved and developed, there 
appears to be no legal requirement for any 
compensation to affected landowners or 
homeowners whose properties decrease in value. 

Public Services and Infrastructure. Because most 
employees are projected to be local hires and any 
inmigrating population would be spread out among a 
relatively large study area, public and infrastructure 
effects from the Yarnell Project are generally not 
expected to be significant. Since Yarnell, Congress 
and parts of the other Yavapai County residential areas 
are unincorporated communities, many identifiable 
effects on public services would be borne by Yavapai 
County. Other residential areas such as Prescott, 
Wickenburg and the northern Phoenix metropolitan 
area are incorporated cities with sufficient public 
services such that identifiable effects from the small 
inmigrating population would be negligible. Therefore, 
the discussion below is focused on Yavapai County and 
other special districts in the Yarnell area. 

Public Safety - Sheriffs Department concerns 
associated with the proposed mining project would 
include increased demand for general police services, 



4-98 



traffic flow disruptions and operational concerns 
including the ability to respond to emergencies which 
could be affected by the proposed road closures of 
State Highway 89. It is uncertain if additional Sheriffs 
personnel would be needed within the Yarnell District 
based upon the specific potential effects of the mine 
(Yavapai County Sheriffs Office, 1996). 

With the increasing population, traffic and overall 
level of activity in the Yarnell area, there is the 
potential for additional crime. Any increase in crime 
would be dependent on a number of factors, including: 

♦ characteristics of employees, other new 
residents and transients who move into the area, 

♦ the degree of divisiveness among different 
segments of the community (see Social and 
Quality of Life Effects in this section), 

♦ the ability of the County Sheriff s Department to 
respond to criminal activities and to maintain a 
strong presence in the area to deter crime (see 
above) and 

♦ various local and regional economic and social 
conditions (employment, income, interest rates, 
etc.) which affect individual and group 
socioeconomic well-being. 

Because of these unknowns, any specific 
quantitative level of crime increases cannot be 
projected with any certainty at this time. 

The effect of potential road closures on ambulance 
and sheriff access to Yarnell was also a major issue 
raised during scoping. If an ambulance from 
Wickenburg were to be blocked at the road closure 
point from access to Yarnell. necessary time to attend 
to life-threatening emergencies could be lost. 
Furthermore, because Sheriffs deputies could be on 



either side of the road closure at any specific time, 
access for the deputy to the other side of the closure 
point could be affected (see Sections 4.1.12 and 4.1.14 
for additional discussion of the road closure effects). 

The Yarnell Project would be within the Yarnell 
Fire District. YMC would have a water pump truck on 
site available for fire control and train its employees in 
basic fire control operations through federal MSHA 
requirements. However, in extreme situations, the 
mine would need to call upon the Fire Department for 
assistance. Additional indirect fire calls are also 
possible because of the slightly increased population in 
the Yarnell area and the potential for traffic accidents 
or other emergencies. 

Water Supply - The effects of groundwater 
pumping on local water users is discussed in Section 
4.1.4.4. 

Sewage Disposal - Much of the rural portion of the 
study area relies on septic systems for sewage disposal, 
while the major urban centers have central community 
sewage disposal systems. Because of the existing 
capacity and relatively small population inmigrating 
into the large study area, there should be minimal 
effects of the project on sewage disposal. 

Solid Waste - Because of the relatively small 
project-related inmigration into a large study area, 
population-related solid waste effects should be 
minimal. YMC has stated that it plans to have a local 
solid waste collection contractor handle any solid 
wastes generated at the mine site. This contractor 
would be required to dispose of YMC's solid wastes at 
an approved facility (either a transfer station or at an 
approved, permitted landfill). Effects would not be 
significant. 



4-99 



Other Public Utilities - All growth-related impacts 
from the proposed project to the supply of natural gas, 
electricity and telephone service could be 
accommodated by the existing systems in all affected 
areas. Effects would not be significant. 

Health Care and Social Services - Health care 
facilities and personnel are expected to be adequate to 
accommodate population growth related to the 
proposed project. Major health services for Yarnell 
and other rural Yavapai County areas are provided by 
hospitals in Wickenburg, the northern Phoenix 
metropolitan area and Prescott. 

Educational Facilities - Based on the assumptions 
provided in Table 4-21, the estimated number of 
Emigrating school-age children associated with the 
proposed project is shown in Table 4-25. The 
estimated 20 total new students during the project 
operations phase would be spread out into the various 
residency areas in which their parents live. Affected 
school districts would generally have adequate 
personnel and physical capacity for the projected new 
school-age children, although the Yarnell elementary 
school would be nearing its capacity. 

State and Local Government Fiscal Effects. 

Effects from the Yarnell Project would not require 
extensive new government programs or the 
construction of new infrastructure. However, annual 
operating costs for affected governmental units may 
increase through additions of personnel or equipment 
to serve the growing population. 

Table 4-26 and the following summarize potential 
impacts of the Yarnell Project on government finances. 



♦ Based on its expected rate of gold production, 
current gold prices and existing Arizona tax 
rates, it is expected that YMC would pay about 
$ 1 30,000 per year in severance taxes to the state 
of Arizona. Part of this annual severance tax 
payment would be retained by the state, but part 
would be distributed to county and municipal 
governments, as well as school districts 
throughout the state, including those in Yavapai 
County. 

♦ It is estimated that the Yarnell Project would 
result in property taxes of approximately 
$460,000 per year to Yavapai County (as 
collectors) for the county itself, the state of 
Arizona, the Yarnell Elementary School 
District, the school equalization program, 
Yavapai Community College, Yarnell Fire 
District and other relevant taxing jurisdictions 
which are allowed to collect property taxes. This 
payment amount would gradually decline due to 
depreciation of assets and reduction of the 
mineral value associated with the land as the 
gold is mined from the deposit. The actual 
amounts of future property tax payments would 
depend primarily on the tax rates for each 
jurisdiction and the central valuation of the 
project developed by the state Division of 
Property Valuation and Equalization. 

♦ Corporate income taxes payable to the federal 
government and state of Arizona would depend 
on the profitability of the project. Most of any 
state corporate taxes paid by YMC would be 
retained by the state, but a portion would be 
distributed to Arizona's incorporated cities and 
towns under the state's Urban Revenue Sharing 
Program. 



4-100 



TABLE 4-25 
Inmigrating School Children by Residency Area 





Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 





1 
1 


3 
1 

4 
4 


2 

1 
1 


12 

4 

4 


2 
4 


8 
20 



Table 4-26 
Categories of Potential Economic Effects on Government Finances 



Category 


Potential Economic Effect 


Extraction of mineral resource 


Increased severance taxes 


YMC facilities and operations 


Increased property taxes 


Employee and indirect residential and business development 


Increased property taxes 


YMC corporate profits 


Increased corporate income taxes 


Direct and indirect wages 


Increased income and other employment taxes 


YMC purchases 


Increased sales taxes 


Employee and indirect purchases 


Increased sales taxes 


Government expenditures for increased demand for services 


Increased expenditures 


and infrastructure 





♦ Many of the products and supplies purchased by 
YMC for the proposed project would be subject 
to the state sales tax. Total annual supply costs 
for the project are estimated by YMC to be 
about $3.6 million. 

♦ With the estimated increase in population and 
school-age children, there would be increases in 
government service and facility demands 
requiring county, school district and special 
district expenditures. The most direct effects 
from the project, which would occur within the 
immediate Yarnell/Glen Ilah area, would be 



offset with the property tax payments noted 
above. Other residency areas would receive 
only negligible increased revenue directly due to 
project implementation, but incremental 
expenditures would also be negligible because 
of the relatively small number of persons 
projected to migrate into each residency area. 
♦ Operation and maintenance costs for school 
districts throughout Arizona are equalized by the 
state on a per student basis. Capital costs have 
historically been funded solely by the school 
district property tax, although a recent Arizona 



4-101 



Supreme Court decision ruled that capital fund 
inequities need to be rectified so that bonding 
capacities for school districts throughout the 
state are equalized. Because of the relatively 
small number of new students within any given 
school district including the Yarnell Elementary 
School District, no capital expenditures due to 
the project are projected. Any school district 
operation/maintenance costs due to the project- 
related inmigration should be covered through 
school district property taxes and the school 
equalization program. 

Overall, because the population inmigration and 
associated public service/infrastructure needs 
associated with the proposed project are not extensive, 
the fiscal burden of the project on affected jurisdictions 
would not be significant. 

Social and Quality of Life Effects. Social benefits 
and costs are generally perceived differently by 
different people. The magnitude and extent of social 
effects are determined by many factors, primarily 1 ) the 
influence of individual and/or group values, goals and 
beliefs and 2) the willingness and/or ability of a person 
or group to adapt to changes in their social environment 
and associated quality of life. Social effects would 
result from project-related direct and indirect effects 
such as noise and traffic, perceived deviant behavior 
associated with newcomers in the community, forced 
changes in regular patterns of behavior and lifestyle 
and changes in perceived physical health and 
psychological well-being. 

Effects are very subjective and individualist in 
nature, and there are no readily available units of 
measure to use in estimating potential effects to one's 
social environment and quality of life. Therefore, 



much of the discussion is qualitative rather than 
quantitative, and emphasis in this analysis is on 
disclosure of the potential range of effects which could 
accrue to various persons. 

The project-related changes would be similar for all 
mine alternatives. Social structures, social character 
and quality of life in the Yarnell area would experience 
both short-term and long-term effects from project 
implementation. Whether the effects would be 
considered beneficial, adverse, or both, depends on 
individual and group values, beliefs and goals. Other 
residential areas would not experience the high degree 
of effect experienced by Yarnell residents. Further 
discussions by residential area are presented below. 

Yarnell Residential Area - A variety of concerns or 
perceived negative effects from mine development 
were expressed by Yarnell residents during the public 
scoping. Public concerns with a direct link to social 
structures include exposure to outsiders with different 
behaviors and characteristics, a perceived increase in 
the potential for criminal behavior associated with 
these outsiders, unwanted social influences from 
miners and unwanted economic effects such as declines 
in property values. Influences which could adversely 
affect quality of life include noise and blasting, 
degradation of visual resources and air quality, anxiety 
about exposure to cyanide and road closures due to 
blasting. 

Based on these concerns, there is substantial 
opposition to the proposed mine from current residents 
of Yarnell. An "anti-mine" faction has already 
developed, as evidenced by the placement of numerous 
"stop the mine" signs and scoping comments. These 
opponents of the mine generally feel that project- 
related opportunities for profit or positive change 



4-102 



would be outweighed by the negative changes in 
lifestyle and quality of life discussed above. If mining 
occurs, project opponents would feel frustrated because 
they had been unable to control factors affecting their 
lifestyle and quality of life. They would feel the 
project was forced on them by outsiders with no real 
stake in the community. Additionally, feelings of 
alienation and a breakdown of community integration 
could occur for these individuals. 

A less vocal "pro-mine" faction of the Yarnell 
community has also developed. This is evidenced by a 
"start the mine" sign showing signatures of those who 
support mine development. Yarnell residents who 
favor development of the proposed mine would 
generally believe that the opportunity for economic 
benefit (e.g., employment, wages and business 
opportunities for profit) and/or the societal need for 
mining gold outweighs any perceived negative changes 
to social structures and quality of life. Project 
proponents may feel cheated by losing out on these 
economic opportunities if the mine were not developed. 

Inmigration of project workers to the Yarnell area 
could result in a high degree of conflict between 
newcomers and existing residents. This is because of 
the strong likelihood that the existing controversy (e.g., 
as evidenced by the presence of the "anti-mine" and 
"pro-mine" factions in the community) over the mine 
would continue as the mine begins operations. 
Inmigrants associated with the mine would generally 
not be welcomed into the community by the persons in 
the "anti-mine" faction, and social structures could 
center on "pro-mine" and "anti-mine" issues and 
groups. If the mine is developed, it is likely that some 
portion of the existing population would leave the 
Yarnell area with animosity toward the mining 
company and its personnel. 



Congress Residential Area - While the Congress 
residential area is about the same size as Yarnell, the 
residents of Congress might be more receptive to the 
presence of mining workers because of the long and 
more recent history of mining in the area. The lack of 
an organized "anti-mine" group in Congress also might 
make mining-related inmigrants more comfortable 
compared to Yarnell. Social structures and quality of 
life for residents of Congress would not be greatly 
affected by the presence of the mine or by the presence 
of mining-related personnel in the community. 

Residents of the North Ranch area south of 
Congress, including the Escapees travel club/retirement 
community, would not be directly affected to any great 
degree by the operation. However, some residents of 
this area may continue to express concern about 
potential environmental effects of the operation on their 
air, water and quality of life. 

Wickenburg Residential Area - Based on scoping 
comments, there is evidence of some opposition to the 
mine by residents of the Wickenburg area. However, 
most residents would not be directly affected by the 
presence of the mine in Yarnell and would, therefore, 
not be expected to have strong emotions to either 
support or oppose the mine. Wickenburg, as a larger 
city with a more diverse economy than either Yarnell or 
Congress, would offer more housing and other 
infrastructure to potential mining-related inmigrants. 
Social structures would also be more diverse; mine 
employees (whether they be inmigrants or local hires) 
would not substantially affect or be affected by social 
structures in the Wickenburg area. 

Prescott Residential Area - Prescott has developed 
into a major regional center fueled primarily by 



4-103 



economic growth in tourism and services. With recent 
population growth, there is an abundance of skilled 
construction workers and other tradesmen in the 
Prescott area who would be candidates for employment 
at the mine in Yarnell. The economy and social 
structures in the Prescott area are sufficiently diverse so 
that mine employees would not create substantial 
conflict with existing residents. Because most 
residents of the Prescott area would not be directly 
affected by the presence of the mine, quality of life for 
the vast majority of these residents would generally not 
be affected by mine development. 

Other Yavapai and Maricopa County Residential 
Areas - In addition to the Yarnell, Congress, 
Wickenburg and Prescott residential areas, a number of 
other communities could serve as a residency area for 
project workers within both Yavapai and Maricopa 
counties. Since access to the proposed mine site in 
Yarnell is relatively easy through the existing highway 
system and because many persons would be attracted 
by the relatively high wages associated with the project, 
commuting distances of more than 1 00 miles would not 
be prohibitive. 

YMC had received employment inquiries by mid- 
1996 from persons living in Yavapai County 
communities such as Peeples Valley, Hillside and 
Bagdad in addition to Yarnell. Congress and Prescott. 
Because of the association and proximity between 
Yarnell and Peeples Valley, social structures could be 
somewhat affected by the presence of project-related 
workers in Peeples Valley. Other Yavapai County 
communities are far enough from the project-related 
controversy that social structures and quality of life in 
these places would generally not be measurably 
affected by the presence of mining workers. 



Assumption Sensitivity Analysis. The results of the 
impact analysis described in the previous sections 
(termed the base case analysis in this discussion) are 
dependent upon a number of assumptions (shown 
previously in Table 4-18). If assumptions used in the 
analysis do not occur, the effects of the Yarnell Project 
would be different than those projected in the base case 
analysis. To show how assumptions affect the 
estimates of employment, population inmigration and 
other socioeconomic variables, an alternative case was 
developed. 

This alternative case consists of changes in the 
assumptions used in two important areas - the local 
(existing resident) hiring rate and the indirect 
employment effects from the new project-related jobs. 
While the base case projection of 80 percent local 
hiring for project-related workers is reasonable given 
current information, there are many external factors 
which could lessen the actual local hiring rate. There 
is also some uncertainty as to the proper indirect 
employment multiplier. 

A review of 10 recent socioeconomic analyses 
within EISs for proposed mining projects in eight states 
(both rural and non-rural settings) used indirect 
multipliers for the mining operations phase ranging 
from 0.4 to 0.76 indirect workers for every one direct 
worker. Other applicable economic relationships were 
reviewed for non-mining projects in Arizona, and 
similar assumptions have been used for non-mining 
projects. For the Yarnell Project base case analysis, a 
multiplier of 0.45 was used. While this assumption 
seems reasonable given all available information and 
recent experience, a higher multiplier would lead to 
more indirect employment and more population 
inmigration. Consideration of a higher multiplier will 



4-104 



help account for the uncertainty of ultimate economic 
effects. 

The two specific assumption changes in the 
alternative case analysis include: 

♦ the local (existing resident) hiring rate for 
operations workers is reduced from 80 percent 
in the base case to 50 percent in the alternative 
case and 

♦ the indirect employment effects of basic Yarnell 
Project operations employment is increased 
from 0.45 indirect workers per new job to 0.9 
indirect workers per job. 

All other assumptions and data used in the base case 
are used in this alternative case analysis. 

Population effects of the analysis are presented in 
Table 4-27. With these assumption changes, the peak 
cumulative population increase in the study area due to 
the Yarnell Project would be 89 persons during the 



construction phase compared to 36 persons in the base 
case, with an increase of 174 persons during the 
operations phase compared to 74 persons in the base 
case. As with the base case, this inmigrating 
population would likely be spread among communities 
and rural areas in both Yavapai and Maricopa counties. 

The most important population increase in this 
alternative case would be in Yarnell, with an increase 
from 10 persons inmigrating during operations in the 
base case to an estimated 25 persons in the alternative 
case. While this is not a large number of persons 
relative to the entire study area, 25 additional mining- 
related persons in Yarnell (requiring an estimated nine 
housing units) would pose both economic and social 
disruptions to the existing conditions in Yarnell. In 
addition to the specific potential for these population 
effects associated with the alternative case scenario, 
there would be slightly higher effects compared to the 
base case in areas such as indirect income, housing 
demand and demand for community services. 



TABLE 4-27 
Inmigrating Population by Residency Area 
Base Case Compared to Alternative Case 





Base Case 


Alternative Case 


Construction 


Operations 


Construction 


Operations 


Yarnell 
Congress 
Prescott 

Other Yavapai County 
Total Yavapai County 

Wickenburg 

Other Maricopa Communities 
Total Maricopa County 

TOTAL 


5 
2 

7 
7 


10 
4 
15 
15 


13 

4 
18 
18 


25 
9 
35 
35 


21 

7 

8 


44 

15 
15 


53 

18 
18 


104 

35 

35 


15 
36 


30 
74 


36 
89 


70 
174 



4-105 



From the comparisons between the base case and 
alternative case, the importance of local hiring and 
indirect project effects can clearly be seen. Monitoring 
of employment, population and income data would be 
necessary to determine the actual location, magnitude 
and duration of impacts. 

4.1.16.2 Impact Mitigation 

No regulatory standards apply to the mitigation of 
socioeconomic impacts, and no specific mitigation 
measures are proposed. 



An Environmental Compliance Memorandum 
(Department of the Interior, 1995) addresses the issue 
of defining disproportionate effects on minority or low- 
income communities or groups. According to this 
guidance, disproportionately high and adverse 
environmental or human health effects would occur if 
there would be significant impacts affecting such a 
population, or if risks or effects to such populations 
would appreciably exceed those on the general 
population or other appropriate comparison group. 

4.1.17.1 Direct and Indirect Impacts 



4.1.16.3 Residual Effects 

Residual effects on the socioeconomic environment 
are discussed in the sections above. The most 
prominent effect may be a decline in some existing 
residents' quality of life (especially in the Glen Ilah 
area) due to visual effects, noise, lifestyle disruptions 
and potential property value declines. 

In the long-term, after the completion of mining and 
reclamation, the effects of noise, dust and traffic 
disruptions would cease and property values would be 
expected to stabilize. However, visual impacts and 
anxiety about remaining environmental impacts could 
continue to affect the quality of life. 

4.1.17 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE 



The Yarnell area's overall poverty rate of 18.4 
percent is relatively consistent with the statewide level, 
and there is no evidence of any specific low income or 
minority population near the proposed mine site which 
would incur the specific identifiable effects disclosed 
in this EIS. The closest residences would be most 
affected, but these are not exclusively low income or 
minority households. Many persons in the area, most 
notably in Glen Ilah, would be affected by the project, 
but no minority or low income group would receive a 
disproportionately higher level of effect than any other 
persons in the general population of the area. 

The nearest Native American tribe to the proposed 
mine site is the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, approxi- 
mately 30 miles away at Prescott. No migrant worker 
communities or activities are near the proposed mine. 



The proposed action and alternatives were evaluated 
for issues relating to the social and economic well- 
being and health of minorities and low income groups. 
Such issues are termed environmental justice issues 
(see Section 3.10.8). 



4.1.17.2 Impact Mitigation 



There would be no mitigation measures required. 



4.1.17.3 Residual Effects 



There would be no residual effects. 



4-106 



4.2 ALTERNATIVE 1 « 
NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE 



modified by development of the open pit, waste rock 
dumps and heap leach facility as proposed in the MPO. 



Implementation of the Yarnell Project as proposed 
by YMC would result in a variety of environmental 
impacts as described in this EIS. Under Alternative 1, 
the no action alternative, the BLM would not approve 
the proposed mining operation. This alternative would 
eliminate those impacts which the proposed operation 
would generate. A summary of the effects associated 
with the no action alternative is presented below. The 
BLM can implement the no action alternative only if 
the proposed operation (with mitigation) would result 
in unnecessary or undue degradation of federal land. 

While the no action alternative would prohibit the 
mining operation as proposed by YMC (e.g., involving 
federal land managed by the BLM), mining could still 
theoretically occur under some circumstances on 
private and state land only. The potential for mine 
development not requiring BLM approval and the 
adequacy of the environmental regulatory framework to 
protect the public interest with mining on private land 
is discussed below in Section 4.2.13. 



4.2.2 



SOILS 



Selection of the no action alternative would mean 
the site would remain in its present condition. The 
impacts to soils resources as a result of the proposed 
action would not occur. The present erosion rate would 
continue; the current erosion rate is elevated over 
natural conditions due to the present disturbance on 
site. 



4.2.3 



WATER RESOURCES 



Under the no action alternative, the impacts to water 
resources described from development of the proposed 
project would not occur. The development of the water 
supply system proposed in the MPO would not take 
place. Well TW-01 on federal land would be plugged 
and reclaimed or assigned to the BLM for 
stockwatering and wildlife purposes. 



4.2.4 



VEGETATION 



4.2.1 GEOLOGY AND MINERAL 
RESOURCES 

If the no action alternative were to be implemented, 
the orebody would remain in the ground. Exploration 
on and around the site would probably continue to 
some extent. Interest in the mineral resource may 
continue, and plans for a similar operation could be 
submitted in the future. A plan to mine the resources 
involving only private land could also be developed 
(see Section 4.2. 1 3). Existing topography would not be 



If the no action alternative is implemented, no 
vegetative cover would be disturbed as described in the 
MPO, and the proposed operation site would remain in 
its present condition. 



4.2.5 



WILDLIFE 



Selection of the no action alternative would leave 
the proposed operational site in its present condition. 
Wildlife habitat would remain as it is. and no additional 
impacts to wildlife would occur. If YMC dropped its 
interest in the Yarnell property, the company would be 
required to reclaim any disturbance from its exploration 



4-107 



activities, thereby benefitting the quality of the land as 
wildlife habitat over the current situation. 



4.2.6 



AIR RESOURCES 



Under this alternative, the air quality would remain 
essentially the same as it is now. Concentrations of all 
regulated pollutants would remain at their present 
levels. Additional emissions from the proposed 
Yarnell Project would not occur. 



4.2.7 



LAND USE 



natural elements. Alteration or destruction of sites 
could result from continued exploration and by the 
actions of recreationalists. 

4.2.10 TRANSPORTATION 

The no action alternative would not alter existing 
conditions associated with highways and roads. 
Potential access effects to and from Yarnell/Glen Ilah 
from proposed road closures on State Highway 89 
would not occur, and emergency access would remain 
as it currently exists. 



Under the no action alternative, the impact to 
existing land uses of open space, grazing and wildlife 
habitat would not occur. Current land uses are 
compatible with BLM and county management plans; 
therefore, reclassification of land uses would not be 
necessary. The land use conflict between mining and 
residential land uses also would not occur. 



4.2.11 NOISE 

Increased project-related noise in the vicinity of the 
mine site would not occur if the proposed operation 
was not implemented. 

4.2.12 SOCIOECONOMICS 



4.2.8 VISUAL RESOURCES 

The no action alternative would leave the site as it 
exists, and the proposed operational facilities would not 
be developed. No additional visual impacts would 
occur. After reclamation of disturbed land from 
YMC's exploration activities, the visual impacts caused 
by existing scars from historic mining disturbances, 
roads, adits and drill sites would remain present at the 
site. 



4.2.9 



CULTURAL RESOURCES 



The no action alternative would eliminate any 
impact of the proposed action to the identified cultural 
resources in the area. Deterioration of these sites 
would continue from exposure to weather and other 



The no action alternative would postpone or 
eliminate the effects associated with employment, 
income and local government revenues stemming from 
the proposed action. While growth and development in 
the region would continue with or without the proposed 
Yarnell Project, the perceived significant adverse 
effects on quality of life and lifestyle for persons in the 
immediate vicinity of the mine site (e.g., Glen Ilah) 
would not occur. 

4.2.13 POTENTIAL FOR MINE 

DEVELOPMENT NOT REQUIRING 
BLM APPROVAL 

YMC is proposing to develop its patented mining 
claims at the proposed Yarnell Project site through the 
MPO review and approval process. Because federal 



land managed by the BLM would be involved in the 
project as proposed by YMC. the BLM is responsible 
for federal review and authorization of the MPO. The 
BLM*s roles in reviewing and approving the MPO 
include environmental analysis under NEPA and 43 
CFR 3809 "Surface Management" regulations as 
discussed in Chapter 1 of this EIS. 

However, YMC or another firm could conduct 
mining operations in the future at the proposed site 
through use of private and possibly state land only. 
Under the no action alternative, YMC or another firm 
would not be prohibited from obtaining approval and 
developing a revised project on non-federal land. As 
such, the no action alternative would not prohibit 
mining in the Yarnell Project area and the resulting 
impacts. If YMC were able to use private land for its 
mining and processing operations, BLM approval of an 
MPO would not be necessary. 

According to U.S. law, an alternative to mine 
development under an MPO (requiring BLM approval) 
provides that claim holders on public land may submit 
a patent application to the BLM to acquire title to land 
for which they hold mineral claims or may complete a 
land exchange. However, at this time, a moratorium is 
in effect by the federal government, and patent 
applications can be submitted only when, and if, the 
moratorium is lifted. Upon completion of the patent (if 
the moratorium is lifted) or land exchange, the land 
would be privately owned, and the owners could 
proceed with their mine plans without BLM 
authorization. In addition to the land patenting and/or 
land exchange possibility, much of the land proposed 
for development at the Yarnell Project site is already 
privately owned. In theory, YMC or any other party 
with mineral rights on private land could arrange for an 
alternative facility location plan which would not use 



BLM-managed land, thereby excluding the BLM from 
the review/approval process. While the likelihood of 
either of these possibilities cannot be known at this 
time, the BLM must consider this possibility under the 
no action alternative. 

It is a misconception that loss of BLM admin- 
istration and public ownership of the affected land 
means complete loss of federal and/or state jurisdiction 
for mining or mining-related activities such as pipeline 
construction. Whether mining activities occur on 
public or private land (or a combination of both), YMC 
would have to acquire a number of federal and state 
authorizations to implement foreseeable mining uses. 
Furthermore, many of these permits (such as the Title 
V air quality permit and the Aquifer Protection 
Program permit) and the Arizona state reclamation 
rules provide for public notification and review prior to 
issuance of these permits. They also require review 
and re-authorization for any proposed major 
modifications of the mine activities for which a permit 
has been issued. 

As part of the oversight responsibilities for mining 
on public land, the BLM requires that federal 
reclamation requirements be addressed in the MPO and 
that adequate bonding or financial assurance is 
provided by the proponent to ensure that post-closure 
reclamation can be completed as proposed. While the 
BLM would no longer provide federal oversight of 
reclamation in situations involving only private land, a 
mine on private land would still be subject to state 
reclamation requirements through the recently passed 
Arizona Mined Land Reclamation Rules, which 
became effective on July 20, 1996. and were revised in 
January 1997. 



4-109 



4.3 ALTERNATIVE 2 — 4.3.1 

ELIMINATION OF THE SOUTH 

WASTE ROCK DUMP AND 

PLACEMENT OF ALL WASTE ROCK 

INTO THE NORTH WASTE ROCK 

DUMP 

As discussed in Chapter 2 of this EIS and shown in 
Figure 2-2, YMC has proposed placement of waste 
rock within two permanent waste rock dump sites, 
termed the SWRD and the NWRD. Analysis of 
alternatives to the proposed action has identified a 
feasible alternative which would eliminate the SWRD 
site and subsequent placement of all waste rock into the 
NWRD. This alternative to the proposed action is 
analyzed as Alternative 2 in this section. Other 
portions of the Yarnell Project operation and associated 
impacts would remain the same as those proposed by 
YMC under this alternative. 4.3.2 



OPERATIONAL EFFECTS 

The expanded NWRD would be end-dumped in a 
single lift of 250 to 300 feet. The potential for slides 
and rolling rocks at the waste rock dump site during 
operations would be increased with this alternative. 
The reclaimed slope of the dump would be 
approximately 600 feet long, increasing the potential 
for erosion and stability problems. Since the height of 
the NWRD would remain the same in the area where it 
would cover the existing tailings, no stability problems 
from placement on the tailings would be expected. 
Construction of the diversion system and siltation 
ponds for the SWRD would be eliminated. Project 
costs are estimated to be about 16.4 percent higher 
compared to the proposed action under Alternative 2. 
Activities would be conducted closer to Glen Hah for 
a longer time. 

TOPOGRAPHY 



Alternative 2 would have slightly different effects 
than the proposed action. Effects on those elements of 
the human environment which would be different than 
those of the proposed action are identified below. All 
other effects would remain essentially the same as 
under the proposed action. Effects on resource areas 
such as geology, land use (slightly different 
configuration of affected lands) and socioeconomics 
would generally be the same as the proposed action; 
therefore they are not discussed below. 

Expansion of the NWRD site would result in a net 
decrease in disturbed area within the MSA of about 20 
acres. The expansion would cover the delineated 
wetland downstream of the dump and require 
reconstruction of Yarnell Creek and re-establishment of 
the wetland. 



The elevation of the top of the expanded NWRD 
would remain the same, but the height would increase 
about 100 feet because it expands downstream. The 
existing depressions and saddles where the SWRD 
would have been constructed would not be replaced by 
a mound with long, steep side slopes. While this would 
permanently alter topography in the area in a slightly 
different manner than the effects of the proposed 
action, effects would not be considered significant. 



4.3.3 



SOILS 



Under this alternative, there would be about 127 
acres disturbed in the MSA, as shown on Figure 4-10, 
compared to 1 47 acres under the proposed action, and 
48 acres would be converted to 2:1 slopes or steeper 
(about the same as under the proposed action). 



4-110 




■ 


- Collar (CoC. CoD 

g5l: c c^ dBC ' CBD - 


□ 


"IdtWlpBC^-D. 
GBE. GEC. GEO) 


■ 


- Cordoo (CoC) 


■ 


- Rook Land (RIC) 


■ 


- Dltturbod Land (DL) 


□ 


- Alluvium (Al) 

- Alluvium mixed with 
Mill Tailing* (A/T) 

- Mill Tailings (T) 


^^^~ 


- Disturbance Outline of 
Major Faollltlot 


--- 


- Aroo of Recent Flro 


*—.IIM» 


- Delineated Wetland 


„ ■ 


- Waters of the U.S. 


December 


1994 


Contour Intervals = 25' 




f 




N 


o 


2BO 500 



MINE SITE STUDY AREA 
DISTURBED AREAS 
SOIL TYPES MAP 



Alternative 2 would also result in the loss of 1,200 
linear feet of the Yarnell Creek drainage and the linear 
strip of hydric soils associated with wetlands along a 
1,200-foot section of this stream. However, this 
alternative would increase the salvageable topsoil by 
30,000 cubic yards compared to the proposed action 
because the north part of the MSA contains a thicker 
layer of salvageable topsoil than other parts of the 
project area. This would provide additional topsoil that 
could be used in reclamation. 



4.3.4 



WATER RESOURCES 



The impacts to water resources would be the same 
as for the proposed action, described in Section 4. 1 .4, 
except for the following. 

♦ The surface water and groundwater quantity and 
quality in Fools Gulch would not be affected by 
the SWRD. This is because Alternative 2 
eliminates the SWRD, which would be at the 
headwaters of Fools Gulch. 

♦ Increased erosion may occur temporarily in 
Yarnell Creek during reconstruction of 1,200 
feet of the Yarnell Creek drainage as a result of 
construction activities associated with the 
expanded NWRD. About 800 feet of the 
Yarnell Creek wetland would be buried by the 
NWRD and additional wetland damaged by 
construction of the sediment retention structure 
and other activities. Cottonwood Spring would 
be covered by the expanded NWRD. Pumping 
of YMC-04 and pit dewatering would lower 
water levels and reduce or eliminate flow at 
Cottonwood Spring as discussed in Section 
4.1.4.3. After pumping ceased, water would 
recover to near premining levels within about 
two years. The large boulders at the base of the 



4.3.5 



NWRD would perform similar to a rock drain, 
and the flow from Cottonwood Spring may 
reappear at the toe of the NWRD. Any flow 
from the spring would be captured in the 
sediment retention structure and seep into 
bedrock along with any other surface water 
contained by the structure. The expanded 
NWRD would permanently fill an additional 
900 feet of jurisdictional waters of the U.S. 
(1,800 feet total), regulated by the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers (COE). A comprehensive 
wetland mitigation plan would have to be 
approved for the COE to issue a 404 permit to 
the Yarnell Mine. This mitigation plan could 
require the Yarnell Mine to create a new 
wetland to replace the one that would be 
destroyed. 

VEGETATION 



Alternative 2 would have overall effects on 
vegetation similar to those under the proposed action, 
but would disturb about 20 less acres. However, this 
alternative would result in a 0.1 -acre impact to a high 
quality wetland and relocation of a 1.200-foot section 
of Yarnell Creek, as shown on Figure 4-11. 



4.3.6 



WILDLIFE 



The total wildlife habitat disturbed by mining would 
be reduced approximately 20 acres under this 
alternative. The incremental disturbance associated 
with Alternative 2 would primarily affect oak 
shrubland habitat. The habitat that would not be 
affected in the eliminated SWRD is also an oak 
shrubland, one that burned in the late 1980s. 



4-113 



As noted above, Cottonwood Spring, a 0.1 -acre 
wetland area, and a 1 .200 foot reach of Yarnell Creek 
would also be lost under Alternative 2. While limited 
in size, this reach ofYarnell Creek and its associated 
wetlands represents a high value wildlife habitat. 
Lowland leopard frogs occur at this spring, and 
potential, but apparently unoccupied, habitat for 
Arizona Southwestern toads occurs downstream of the 
NWRD site in Antelope Creek. Unless frogs are 
relocated downstream, they would be killed during 
waste dump development. Unless long-term stability 
and erosion concerns associated with the steep slopes 
(50 percent) of the dump are resolved, sedimentation 
could adversely affect future habitat suitability for 
these and other aquatic/riparian wildlife downstream. 



Mina Road and the construction, modification and 
maintenance of ancillary support structures such as 
sediment control and diversion structures. Emissions 
associated with material handling and hauling would 
probably decrease slightly due to the overall reduction 
in haul road distance for the consolidated NWRD 
compared to haul distances associated with both dump 
sites in the proposed action. Overall, total air quality 
impacts associated with this alternative would be 
similar to or slightly less than those predicted for the 
proposed action. All regulatory thresholds and limits 
would still have to be met. and effects would not be 
considered significant. 



4.3.8 



VISUAL RESOURCES 



As a net effect of this alternative, a smaller acreage 
of wildlife habitat is affected, but the habitats affected 
are of higher value to wildlife, principally as a seasonal 
water source for the overall wildlife community and as 
habitat for the relatively rare lowland leopard frog. 
Because flow from Cottonwood Spring may reappear 
near the toe of the expanded NWRD, it is likely that 
seasonal water in Yarnell Creek below the rock dump 
would continue to be available during and following 
reclamation. Furthermore, because the affected 
wetlands would be replaced, the adverse effects to 
wildlife would not be significant in the long term. 



4.3.7 



AIR RESOURCES 



The reduction in particulate emissions caused by the 
smaller overall surface area used for waste rock 
disposal and the elimination of combustion emissions 
associated with the (eliminated) SWRD associated with 
Alternative 2 would be offset by likely increases in 
particulate and combustion emissions. This would be 
due to the required relocation of 4,000 feet of the active 



In comparison to the proposed action, this 
alternative would adversely affect the view most 
dramatically from KOP-5. Viewers at this KOP would 
see the expanded NWRD, which would extend down 
the canyon to the left of the view and cross Mina Road. 
The NWRD would be about 100 feet higher (although 
the top elevation remains the same) compared to the 
KOP-5 simulation for the proposed action. Viewers at 
KOPs 2. 6 and 7 would have a slightly improved view 
compared to the proposed action because these viewers 
would not see the (eliminated) SWRD. The overall 
visual impact from Alternative 2 is slightly less than the 
proposed action, since the SWRD visible from State 
Highway 89 would be eliminated. However, the pit 
would still be the predominant feature contrasting with 
existing visual resources and effects would remain 
significant. 



4.3.9 



CULTURAL RESOURCES 



Consolidation of waste rock disposal to the NWRD 
would not disturb the Biedler mine site and would 



4-114 



MINE SITE 
STUDY AREA 




MINE SITE STUDY AREA 

DISTURBED AREAS 

VEGETATION TYPES MAP 



reduce the number of sites, isolated occurrences and/or 
pits and other isolated mining features that would be 
destroyed under the proposed action. However, these 
resources have been completely documented, and little 
or no information would be lost. A portion of the 
Mina-Genung Road would need to be relocated. 
Relocation would adversely affect the road's integrity 
of place, one of the qualities which make it eligible for 
the NRHP. Alternative 2 therefore would cause a 
significant impact to the site. This alternative would 
not change the potential for indirect impacts to the 
Yarnell Overlook as discussed in Section 4.1 .10.2. 

4.3.10 TRANSPORTATION 



dominated by noise from the pit and increased activity 
at the NWRD would not be noticeable. After the first 
two years of mining, noise from activity at the 
expanded NWRD would dominate noise levels at 
Receptor 3. At this point in the operation, noise levels 
(hourly L eq ) at Receptor 3 would be 61 dBA during 
non-upwind conditions and 41 dBA during upwind 
conditions, a four-dBA increase over the noise levels 
projected for the proposed action. The level of 61 dBA 
exceeds EPA's 55-dBA criteria for the protection of 
public health and welfare, and as it is greater than 10 
dBA over ambient noise levels, noise would be 
expected to be distinctly audible and increase the 
significance of the impact on Receptor 3 even further. 



In addition to the transportation impacts associated 
with the proposed action. Alternative 2 would require 
the relocation of approximately 4,000 feet of the Mina 
Road. A specific route for relocation was not selected 
in the MPO. This would be a short-term impact caused 
by possible delays, traffic congestion and 
inconvenience to those needing access to points along 
this road from State Highway 89 in Yarnell (access 
would be at the Mina Road intersection with State 
Highway 89) until the road was relocated. This 
alternative would, therefore, also slightly change traffic 
patterns compared to the proposed action. To minimize 
the impact to those who use this road, the relocated 
road should be in place prior to the closure of the 
section which is to be used as part of the NWRD. With 
this mitieation, effects are not considered significant. 



4.3.1 



NOISE 



In comparison to the proposed action, noise from 
mining activities under Alternative 2 would change 
only at Receptor 3. In the first two years of mining, 
noise levels in the area of Receptor 3 would be 



4.4 ALTERNATIVE 3 -- 

ELIMINATION OF THE NORTH 

WASTE ROCK DUMP AND 

PLACEMENT OF ALL WASTE ROCK 

INTO THE SOUTH WASTE ROCK 

DUMP 

As discussed in Chapter 2 of this EIS and shown in 
Figure 2-2, YMC has proposed placement of waste 
rock within two permanent waste rock dump sites, 
termed SWRD and NWRD. Analysis of alternatives to 
the proposed action has identified a feasible alternative 
which would eliminate the NWRD and subsequent 
placement of all waste rock into the SWRD. This 
alternative to the proposed action is analyzed as 
Alternative 3 in this section. Other portions of the 
Yarnell Project operation would remain the same as 
those proposed by YMC under this alternative. 

Alternative 3 would have slightly different effects 
than the proposed action. Effects on those elements of 
the human environment which would differ from those 



4-117 



under the proposed action are identified below. All 
other effects would remain essentially the same as 
under the proposed action. Effects on resource areas 
such as geology, land use (slightly different 
configuration of affected lands), transportation and 
socioeconomics would generally be the same as the 
proposed action; therefore, they are not discussed 
below. 

Expansion of the SWRD would result in a net 
decrease in total disturbed area within the MSA of 
about 22 acres. The height of the redesigned dump 
would be approximately the same as the heap adjacent 
to it, but approximately 1 00 feet higher than the SWRD 
under the proposed action. 



4.4.2 



TOPOGRAPHY 



4.4.1 



OPERATIONAL EFFECTS 



As mentioned above, under Alternative 3. the height 
of the SWRD would be raised approximately 1 00 feet 
relative to the proposed action. With this height 
increase, it is likely that the dump would be constructed 
in two lifts. Therefore, the potential impacts from 
slides, rolling rock and size segregation would be 
similar to those under the proposed action. The 
regraded face of the reclaimed dump would be 200 feet 
longer, and the potential for erosion would be increased 
compared to the proposed action. The added height of 
the dump would probably be the final lift placed on the 
dump. Therefore, little reclamation of the dump could 
occur prior to mine completion. Construction of the 
diversion system and siltation ponds associated with 
the NWRD would be avoided, as would the potential to 
impact the wetland area downstream of the NWRD. 
Project costs are estimated to be about nine percent 
higher compared to the proposed action under 
Alternative 3. 



The SWRD site would be about the same areal 
extent, but result in a higher (about 1 00 feet) structure 
compared to the proposed action and would be about 
the same height as the adjacent heap. Approximately 
1 ,400 feet of the upper portion of the Yarnell Creek 
Valley would not be filled with waste rock and 
replaced by the steep side slopes of the NWRD. While 
this would permanently alter topography in the area in 
a slightly different way than the effects of the proposed 
action, effects would not be considered significant. 

4.4.3 SOILS 

Under this alternative, there would be about 125 
acres (as shown on Figure 4-12) requiring a topsoil 
cover compared to 1 47 acres under the proposed action, 
and 68 acres would be converted to 2:1 slopes or 
steeper (about 20 more acres than under the proposed 
action). Alternative 3 would reduce the salvageable 
topsoil by 24.000 cubic yards compared to the 
proposed action. This would provide less available 
topsoil for use in reclamation than either the proposed 
action or Alternative 2. The increased height of the 
dump relative to the proposed action would increase 
slope length by about 200 feet. Erosion would be 
enhanced with the increase in the length of the dump 
face. However, the net increase of erosion from the 
SWRD would be offset because there would no erosion 
from the (eliminated) NWRD. Overall, effects would 
not be considered significant. 



4.4.4 



WATER RESOURCES 



The impacts to water resources would be the same 
as under the proposed action, described in Section 
4. 1 .4, except for the following. 



4-118 



♦ The surface water and groundwater quantity and 
quality of Yarnell Creek, Cottonwood Spring 
and the delineated wetland would not be 
affected by the NWRD. This is because 
Alternative 3 eliminates the NWRD at the 
headwaters of Yarnell Creek (Figure 2-11). 
Pumping of well YMC-04 and pit dewatering 
could still impact flow to Cottonwood Spring 
until water levels recover about two years after 
pumping ends. 

♦ The NWRD would not permanently fill 900 feet 
of streambed delineated as waters of the U.S. 



4.4.5 



VEGETATION 



Alternative 3 would have overall effects on 
vegetation similar to those under the proposed action, 
although less vegetation would be impacted. 
Specifically, about 22 acres of oak shrubland (which 
would be disturbed with the proposed action at the 
NWRD site) would not be disturbed under this 
alternative, as shown on Figure 4-13. However, this 
alternative would result in about 20 more acres of 2:1 
or steeper slopes. These slopes would be difficult to 
reclaim, so there would be a potential for unsuccessful 
re vegetation over a larger area relative to the proposed 
action and Alternative 2. 



4.4.6 



WILDLIFE 



The total wildlife habitat disturbed by mining would 
be reduced approximately about 22 acres under 
Alternative 3 compared to the proposed action. While 
the benefits associated with covering and reclaiming 
the historic tailings at the head of Yarnell Creek would 
not occur under this alternative, there would be 
minimal impacts to Yarnell Creek, Cottonwood Spring 
and its small, flanking wetlands near the NWRD. The 



gain of oak shrubland habitat, while beneficial, would 
not be significant. Overall, this alternative would 
impact wildlife to a lesser degree than the proposed 
action or Alternative 2 as a result of the smaller acreage 
of less valuable habitats affected. 

4.4.7 AIR RESOURCES 

The reduction in particulate emissions caused by the 
smaller overall surface area used for waste rock 
disposal under Alternative 3 and the elimination of 
combustion emissions associated with elimination of 
the NWRD would be offset by likely increases in 
particulate emissions due to the required 100-foot 
increase in dump height and the slight increase in 
hauling distance. Overall, total air quality impacts 
associated with this alternative would be similar to 
those predicted under the proposed action. All 
regulatory thresholds and limits would still be met, and 
effects would not be considered significant. 



4.4.8 



VISUAL RESOURCES 



In comparison to the proposed action, this 
alternative would change the views from KOP-2. KOP- 
5, KOP-6 and KOP-7. Viewers at KOP-2 would see 
the expanded SWRD, which would appear to be about 
30 percent higher than the height projected under the 
proposed action. Viewers at KOP-5 would have an 
improved view compared to the proposed action 
because they would not see the (eliminated) NWRD. 
Viewers at KOP-6 would see the height of the SWRD 
rise to approximately the same height as the heap so 
that the dump would "cover" the view of the heap (the 
heap would be behind the expanded SWRD). Viewers 
at KOP-7 would see the dump extend upward and 
cover approximately half of the heap facility. 
Alternative 3 would have an "overall" greater visual 



4-119 



impact due to the larger size of the SWRD visible from 
State Highway 89. However, the pit would still be the 
predominant feature contrasting with existing visual 
resources, and effects would remain significant. 



4.4.9 



CULTURAL RESOURCES 



Consolidation of waste rock disposal to the SWRD 
would reduce the number of sites, isolated occurrences 
and/or pits and cairns that would be destroyed by the 
proposed project. Although the historic Yarnell mine 
site would be less affected (or, subject to less 
disturbance) than under the proposed action, that area 
has poor integrity and all identified cultural resources 
have been adequately documented. Therefore, the 
impact would not be significant. This alternative 
would not change the potential for indirect impacts to 
the Yarnell Overlook as discussed in Section 4. 1 . 1 0.2. 



4.4.10 NOISE 

Under Alternative 3. noise levels would decrease at 
receptors 1 and 3 and remain the same at all other 
receptors relative to the proposed action. Noise levels 
(hourly L^) at Receptor 1 are estimated at 54 dBA 
during non-upwind conditions and 31 dBA during 
down conditions, a one-dBA decrease over the 
proposed action. The non-upwind noise level is one 
dBA less than the EPA's 55-dBA impact criterion, 
greater than 10 dBA over nighttime ambient noise 
levels and nine dBA over daytime ambient noise levels. 
Noise levels at Receptor 3 would be 42 dBA during 
non-upwind conditions and 22 dBA during upwind 
conditions. This is 15 dBA less than the noise levels 
predicted under the proposed action. The level of 42 
dBA would represent nighttime conditions. Overall, 
noise effects would remain significant. 



4-120 



MINE SITE 
STUDY AREA 




YARNELL PROJECT- 



MINE SITE STUDY AREA 

DISTURBED AREAS 

VEGETATION TYPES MAP 



CHAPTER 5 

CUMULATIVE IMPACTS 



5.0 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS 



Cumulative impacts are defined as the sum of all 
past, present and reasonably foreseeable future impacts 
resulting from other activities in the study areas for 
each element of the human environment. The purpose 
of the cumulative impact analysis in this draft EIS is to 
evaluate the significance of the contributions to 
cumulative impacts from the proposed action. The 
cumulative impact analysis is accomplished in a four- 
step process. 

♦ Identify study areas for each element of the 
human environment, 

♦ identify the timeframes and other characteristics 
for relevant past, present and reasonably 
foreseeable activities in these study areas, 

♦ estimate the cumulative effects of these 
activities plus those effects of the proposed 
Yarnell Project and 

♦ identify the significance of any cumulative effects. 

Cumulative impact study areas vary somewhat in 
size depending on the anticipated impact region for a 
given resource when the combination of all past, 
present and reasonably foreseeable impacts are 
considered. For most of the physical and biological 
resources (e.g., air, water, geology, soils, cultural 
resources, vegetation, wildlife and land use), the 
primary cumulative impact study area is the area 
proposed for project-related disturbance and the 
immediately adjacent lands; regional factors are also 
considered but to a lesser degree. For other elements 
of the human environment (e.g., socioeconomics, 
transportation, noise and visual resources), the areas for 
impact assessment are a larger region that focuses 
analysis on considerations such as the residents. 



communities (e.g.. Yarnell/Glen Ilah) and roads which 
could be impacted. 



5.1 PAST, PRESENT AND 

REASONABLY FORESEEABLE 

ACTIVITIES 

5.1.1 PAST ACTIVITIES AND DISTURBANCES 

Past activities and disturbances associated with the 
lands in and around the Yarnell Project area have 
traditionally been associated with mining. As 
described briefly in Chapter 1, the proposed project 
area has a long history of gold mining and exploration 
activities. Historical mining-related disturbances such 
as roads, mine shafts, tailings and other waste disposal 
areas and construction/excavation activities are clearly 
evident on the site, although mining has not occurred 
for more than 50 years. These historical disturbances 
have disrupted elements of the human environment 
such as soils, vegetation and wildlife. Because of the 
direct relationship of these historical disturbances with 
the proposed Yarnell Project activities, these past 
activities have been considered in the project-specific 
impact analysis described in Chapter 4. 

5.1.2 PRESENT ACTIVITIES AND 
DISTURBANCES 

5. 1.2. 1 Project Area 

The major present activity on the proposed project 
site is exploration and site-management activities 



5-1 



conducted by YMC for purposes of defining the 
geologic reserve proposed for mining and processing. 
These activities have taken place on both private land 
and federal land managed by the BLM. Activities on 
federal land have been conducted in accordance with 
BLM regulations. Exploration activities have included 
development of roads, drilling of exploration holes and 
conducting other mining-related testing and study. 

Even with the historical and current 
mining/exploration activities on proposed project lands, 
much of the project area contains natural vegetation 
and serves as open space and wildlife habitat. 
Activities on immediately adjacent lands are generally 
rural in nature and include limited recreation and 
grazing. Existing mining activity in the immediate area 
is limited to the Alvarado Mine, a sand and gravel pit 
on private land southwest of the proposed Yarnell mine 
site. As described in Chapters 3 and 4. the proposed 
project area would be within the viewshed and 
noiseshed of nearby residential areas (especially in 
Glen Ilah) and for persons using the existing road 
system (State Highway 89, Mina Road and roads 
within Glen Ilah). Local water resources are used by 
existing residents and commercial businesses in 
accordance with Arizona water law. 

5.1.2.2 Regional Area 

In addition to the proposed Yarnell Project, other 
regional mining activities could have a cumulative 
effect on some elements of the human environment. 
The existing Cyprus Bagdad copper mine near the town 
of Bagdad (30 miles from Yarnell) plans to operate 
with its existing 520-person workforce until about the 
year 2030. The primary effect of this operation from a 
cumulative impact perspective is on the socioeconomic 
conditions in Yavapai County. 



Yavapai County has grown substantially in recent 
years. This growth has occurred through major 
development in the service and retail trade sectors and 
an increase in population associated with retired 
persons. Growth in the Yarnell area has occurred at a 
much slower rate than the county as a whole and has 
been supported by limited development of the service 
sector. Congress and Wickenburg also are growing and 
developing into retirement destinations. 

5.1.3 REASONABLY FORESEEABLE 
ACTIVITIES 

The types of reasonably foreseeable future activities 
commonly included in a cumulative impact analysis 
include mineral exploration, mining and processing 
projects, other resource extraction projects, major 
housing developments, military activities, water 
development and/or conservation projects, agricultural 
activities and recreational developments and/or 
activities. To be "reasonably foreseeable," a project 
must have been formally planned, proposed and 
announced to the public. For example, to be 
reasonably foreseeable, a mining project involving 
federal land would need to be formally proposed 
through the submittal of an MPO to the federal land 
manager such as the BLM. A reasonably foreseeable 
activity could be sponsored by either the private or 
public sector. 

With regard to the proposed project area, 
immediately adjacent lands and the Yarnell community, 
there are no known specific proposals in the above 
categories which have been formally proposed and/or 
announced to the public. Therefore, the cumulative 
impact analysis involving these lands would include 
consideration of historic and present activities only. If 
the Yarnell Project were to proceed, it would be the 



5-2 



major source of cumulative impacts, which would be 
similar to the direct and indirect impacts described in 
Chapter 4. 

On a more regional level, the current growth and 
development trend is expected to continue. This would 
result in increased economic activity, population, 
urbanization and conversion of currently open 
space/undeveloped land to residential and commercial 



adits and access roads. Development of the proposed 
action would contribute approximately 1 82 acres to the 
cumulative disturbance of native soils in the area. 
These soil resources would be salvaged to the extent 
possible, and reclamation of areas disturbed by the 
proposed action may return these salvaged soils to 
productive use. The major source of cumulative impact 
to the environment is from the proposed action. Effects 
are not considered significant. 



5.2.3 



WATER RESOURCES 



5.2 RESOURCE EVALUATIONS 

5.2.1 GEOLOGICAL RESOURCES AND 
TOPOGRAPHY 

Mining and other major resource extraction projects 
are very pertinent types of activities relevant to 
cumulative impact analysis because they impact 
geological resources through the excavation and 
covering of geologic materials and topography through 
the introduction of major new landforms. Historical 
mining operations have modified localized geological 
resources and topography, and the currently operating 
Bagdad mine has been the major source of modified 
geological resources and topography on a regional 
level. The proposed Yarnell Project would add to this 
level of modification. However, there are no other 
mining projects which are reasonably foreseeable. 
Therefore, the major source of impact to the 
environment is from the proposed action. 

5.2.2 SOILS 

Impacts to native soils from past exploration and 
mining activities were largely the result of the 
excavation of soils and construction of drill pads, mine 



There are no other major existing or planned future 
activities in the WRSA that would add to the impacts 
of the proposed action described in Section 4. 1 .4 or 
alternatives two and three (sections 4.3.4 and 4.4.4, 
respectively). As a result, no cumulative hydrological 
impacts in the WRSA were identified beyond those 
associated with the proposed action. 



5.2.4 



BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES 



Historic disturbances have altered the ecology and 
biological resources of the proposed project area 
through removal and/or modification of soils, 
vegetation and associated wildlife habitat. Past mining 
activities and current YMC activities have also 
probably resulted in direct wildlife mortality. These 
activities have cumulatively added to the loss of native 
vegetation and wildlife associated with growth, 
development and urbanization on a regional level. On 
a more local level, the proposed action would be the 
primary factor to consider in the cumulative impact 
analysis because there are no other known major 
activities which would result in loss of these biological 
resources. 



5-3 



Cumulative impact evaluation criteria for biological 
resources include direct effects to vegetation and 
wildlife and loss of wildlife habitat. With successful 
implementation of the reclamation and closure plans by 
YMC and the lack of any threatened or endangered 
species in the immediate vicinity of the project, project- 
specific and cumulative effects would be mitigated to 
a large degree. Mitigation measures for the desert 
tortoise, including compensation for habitat loss, would 
also ameliorate adverse effects. Reasonably 
foreseeable non-federal development in this area that 
could affect wildlife populations includes habitat loss, 
degradation and fragmentation, wildlife displacement 
and mortality associated with human population and 
community growth trends in Yavapai County and the 
Wickenburg area. 



5.2.6 



LAND USE 



5.2.5 



AIR RESOURCES 



There are no other existing major industrial sources 
of air emissions in the immediate vicinity of the 
proposed project. The area is expected to remain 
relatively rural in nature and is not expected to change 
into land uses which would lead to major new sources 
of air emissions. The proposed project would be the 
primary source of impacts to existing air resources 
from the cumulative impact perspective. 

Regionally, the growth and development trend 
would lead to additional impacts to air resources, 
primarily from mobile sources such as automobiles. 
These effects would be noticeable to some persons who 
prefer a less urban, lower traffic lifestyle. While some 
persons would perceive a cumulative adverse effect 
from the Yarnell Project and mobile sources from 
growth and development, air resources are expected to 
continue to be in compliance with state and federal 
standards and plans. 



As noted above, historical land uses such as mining, 
open space and grazing in and around the proposed 
project area have tended to remain in effect over time, 
although the mining land use has not occurred in more 
than 50 years. Regionally, urbanization and growth 
have forced the modification and/or loss of previously 
undeveloped lands. The conversion of Yarnell Project 
lands to an active mining use would add to the loss of 
open space and wildlife habitat on both localized and 
regionalized cumulative bases. 

Land ownership has evolved so that federal, state 
and county governments have become major decision- 
makers on land uses. Because of the proximity to 
Yarnell/Glen Ilah, the mining land use associated with 
the proposed action would be in conflict with existing 
residential land uses and future residential development 
around the project area, even though it would be 
consistent with BLM land use policies. The major 
source of cumulative impact to the environment is from 
the proposed action. 

5.2.7 CULTURAL RESOURCES 

There would be a cumulative loss of cultural 
resources as growth, urbanization and resource 
extraction activities occur throughout the region. In 
addition, growth in the region would continue to 
indirectly result in the loss of cultural resources from 
unauthorized collection and vandalism of sites. Effects 
to project-specific cultural resources would be 
mitigated through the implementation of a data 
recovery plan approved by the BLM. 



5-4 



5.2.8 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND 
WASTE MANAGEMENT 

The proposed action would bring a number of 
hazardous and other materials into the proposed project 
area. Additionally, project operations would result in 
a number of wastes which also require special handling 
and disposal. While YMC has made plans to handle 
these materials in an acceptable manner, the 
transportation, handling and disposal of materials 
implies some inherent level of risk to human and/or 
ecological welfare. Potential effects to the environment 
are primarily from the proposed action; however, 
effects are not considered significant. 



5.2.9 



NOISE 



The proposed action would be the primary source of 
noise effects in the immediate vicinity of the mine site 
from the cumulative perspective. There are no existing 
or planned projects which would compare in noise 
impact magnitude or duration to the proposed action. 
Therefore, cumulative noise impacts would accrue 
primarily from the proposed action. 

Regionally, the current growth and development 
trend would continue to create a more urban 
environment which, in turn, would lead to more noise 
adversely affecting more people in the area. The 
cumulative effect of noise on each individual would 
depend on the location (affecting exposure to noise), 
lifestyles, values and goals of these individuals and 
their ability to adapt to increasing noise. 

5.2.10 VISUAL RESOURCES 

As discussed in Chapter 3. Key Observation Points 
(KOPs) near the proposed project site were chosen to 



depict viewpoints which would show the types of 
effects on residents of the area surrounding the 
proposed project and users of the nearby road system 
(primarily State Highway 89 and Mina Road). The 
proposed action would dominate several of these views 
and not be in conformance with existing BLM visual 
quality objectives either in the short term or the long 
term. On a localized basis, the proposed action would 
be the major source of cumulative impacts to the 
environment. 

The Alvarado Mine, a nearby boulder mining 
operation, is not visible from the MSA or from the 
communities of Yarnell, Glen Ilah or Congress. It is 
below and visible from the State Highway 89 overlook 
south of the proposed project area. From the valley, 
the Alvarado Mine is visible from the Parker Dairy and 
could be seen from portions of the water supply 
pipeline. Due to the local topography, it is unlikely that 
the Alvarado and Yarnell mines would be visible from 
the same vantage point. While there would be other 
visual effects associated with the general level of 
growth, development and urbanization in the region, 
the Yarnell Project would be a localized but dominant 
visual effect because of its proximity to State Highway 
89, the major north-south access road between 
communities in the county and Phoenix. 

5.2.11 TRANSPORTATION 

The recent growth, development and urbanization 
trends throughout the county have added increased 
traffic to the local and regional road systems. Traffic 
levels, traffic flow and transportation-related hazards 
are increasing in association with this trend. The 
proposed action would add to these transportation 
changes through employee commuting and other 
project-related traffic to and from the proposed site. 



5-5 



ADOT has estimated that traffic on State Highway 89 
would increase by a factor of 1.6 over the next 20 
years. However, the project-related traffic on this road 
would be a relatively small part of the cumulative total 
during this time. The major cumulative concern 
associated with project-related traffic is related to the 
potential for increased accidents and other safety 
concerns. While additional traffic levels and the 
potential for increased accidents is an adverse effect 
which could be experienced by residents and visitors to 
the area, no major road improvements are planned or 
needed with current information. Therefore, 
cumulative effects are not expected to be significant. 

Another transportation effect is the potential for 
blocked access to and from Yarnell along State 
Highway 89 when the road is closed for blasting 
purposes. The proposed action would be a major new 
source of traffic blockage and potentially prevent 
emergency access to/from the project area. However, 
the proposed blasting plan deals adequately with this 
potential, and cumulative effects due to road closures 
would not be significant. 



significant in many communities. While the Yarnell 
Project-related socioeconomic effects would add to 
regional growth trends, the project would contribute 
only a very small portion of growth to the total. 
Regional growth and urbanization trends would 
continue with or without the proposed action. 

From a quality of life and social well-being 
perspective, many people in the project area, especially 
in Glen Ilah, do not consider the proposed mining 
operations to be consistent with their desired lifestyle 
and quality of life. On a localized basis (e.g., Yarnell/ 
Glen Ilah), the proposed action would be a major 
contributor to the effects on quality of life. Because of 
the likelihood for the existing regional growth and 
urbanization trends to continue and because of the 
direct cause/effect relationship of growth and 
urbanization on quality of life, regional cumulative 
effects to the socioeconomic environment are likely to 
be significant. However, these trends would continue 
with or without the proposed action. 



5.2.12 SOCIOECONOMICS 

As discussed in Chapter 4, YMC is expected to use 
existing residents of Yavapai and Maricopa counties 
for the vast majority of its project workforce. Direct 
and indirect employment, population, housing, 
community infrastructure/services and fiscal effects to 
affected local governments associated with the 
proposed action are not expected to be significant on 
either localized or regionalized bases. 

Because of the major growth and urbanization 
underway in the region, cumulative employment, 
population, housing and other effects would be 



5-6 



CHAPTER 6 

OTHER REQUIRED 
CONSIDERATIONS 



6.0 OTHER REQUIRED CONSIDERATIONS 



In addition to information and analysis contained in 
Chapters 1 through 5 of this EIS, NEPA requires 
several other EIS analyses and disclosures. These 
other required considerations include: 

♦ unavoidable adverse impacts, 

♦ relationship between short-term use of the 
human environment and long-term productivity 
and 

♦ irreversible and irretrievable commitment of 
resources. 

Each of these other required considerations is 
discussed below. For purposes of these discussions, 
short term is defined as the life of the proposed 
mining/processing operation through closure and 
reclamation. Long term is defined as the future after 
reclamation is completed. 



6.2 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN 

SHORT-TERM USES OF THE HUMAN 

ENVIRONMENT AND LONG-TERM 

PRODUCTIVITY 

This section discusses the balance between the 
short-term use of the site for mining and the long-term 
productivity of the site without the proposed project. 
The proposed operations at the Yarnell Project site 
would result in short- and long-term impacts to the 
existing resources within the various resource study 
areas. Many of the impacts associated with the Yarnell 
Project would be mitigated through reclamation and 
other measures. Other impacts, however, could not be 
mitigated to any great degree. 

6.2.1 TOPOGRAPHY, SOILS AND 
GEOLOGY 



6.1 UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE 
IMPACTS 

Many of the foreseeable impacts to the existing 
environment would be adequately mitigated by the 
elements incorporated by YMC into the proposed 
action and the mitigation measures identified in 
Chapter 4 of this EIS. However, development of the 
proposed action or action alternative would result in 
some unavoidable adverse impacts to some elements of 
the human and physical environment. These 
unavoidable adverse impacts are described in the 
"Residual Effects" sections in Chapter 4 of this EIS. 



Potential impacts to earth resources would be 
primarily long term and concentrated within the 
disturbed area during the construction, operation and 
reclamation phases of all of the action alternatives. 
Soil erosion levels would increase above natural levels 
as a result of the construction of haul roads and 
removal and stockpiling of materials from the mine pit 
creating steep (50 percent) slopes. Soil productivity 
would be reduced over the long term. New and altered 
landforms would change the topography of the area for 
the long term. Effects to geological resources would be 
minimal. 



o-l 



6.2.2 



WATER RESOURCES 



Approximately 161 acre-feet per year of 
groundwater would be pumped from wells for the 
proposed project water supply. Over the short term, 
this water would not be available for other uses. No 
effects to other users is expected as a result of the 
proposed pumping. In the unlikely event that the 
proposed pit would intercept and dewater aquifers, 
local groundwater levels could be reduced over the 
long term. Mitigation has been suggested for affected 
wells should pumping or dewatering by the pit result in 
a lowering in groundwater levels that would adversely 
affects other users. 

Leakage from the heap leach pad could adversely 
affect groundwater quality in a 91 -acre area 
downgradient from the heap leach pad over the short 
term. Outside this area, dilution returns groundwater 
quality (TDS) to levels undetectable from baseline 
levels. This impact would be short term and levels 
would be expected to return to normal after rinsing and 
closure of the heap leach facility. 

The potential for a catastrophic event that would 
cause failure of the heap leach facility is remote. 
Although highly unlikely, such a failure could 
significantly impact both surface and groundwater 
quality over the short term. Leach solution reaching 
surface waters would be diluted rapidly, and leach 
solution seeping into groundwater would likely be 
attenuated and diluted. 

The proposal would permanently affect Waters of 
the U.S. Streams comprising Waters of the U.S. would 
be permanently buried by the NWRD and impacted 
over the short term by construction of the solution and 
stormwater ponds. Reclamation of the pond area 



would mitigate the impacts to that area. Alternative 2 
would destroy a wetland, but in-kind mitigation would 
be required by COE. 

6.2.3 VEGETATION RESOURCES 

Under the proposed action, approximately 1 54 acres 
of vegetation would be lost for the short term. 
Vegetation resources comprising the 28-acre pit area 
would be permanently lost. Over the long term, these 
areas would not be fully returned to their pre- 
disturbance condition. Although proposed reclamation 
activities could lessen these effects and return portions 
of the disturbed areas to a chaparral vegetation-type 
over hundreds of years. Implementing either of the 
action alternatives would reduce disturbance of 
vegetation by about 20 acres. 

6.2.4 WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

There would be a short-term loss of wildlife 
resources due to the loss of habitat and subsequent 
displacement of wildlife and direct mortality. Over the 
long term, habitat would slowly return to its pre- 
disturbance values. Disturbance of wildlife habitat 
would be reduced by approximately 20 acres in both 
action alternatives. However, Alternative 2 would 
disturb wetland habitat. 

6.2.5 AIR QUALITY 

Potential impacts to air quality resulting from 
project-related emissions are short term in nature and 
directly associated with the construction and operation 
of the proposed mining and processing facilities. No 
long-term impacts to air quality are anticipated as a 
result of any of the alternative actions. 



6-2 



6.2.6 LAND USE AND ACCESS 

Each of the action alternatives would have short- 
and long-term impacts to land use and access within 
and surrounding the proposed mining operation. 
Because the proposed operation is located in close 
proximity to residential areas, the proposed mining land 
use would he in conflict with nearby residential land 
uses. Changes in access to the area would be minimal, 
although proposed road closures could disrupt access 
to and from the Yarnell area from the south along State 
Highway 89 in the short term. Access to the open pit 
would be restricted for the long term by construction of 
a five-foot high berm and barb wire fence around its 
perimeter. Post-mining land uses of open space and 
wildlife habitat are proposed to occur after reclamation 
and closure activities, but the site would not be fully 
returned to pre-mining conditions. 



6.2.7 



VISUAL RESOURCES 



Potential impacts related to the re-establishment of 
mining activities at the proposed site are long-term in 
nature and associated with the permanent modification 
of the existing landscape. Due to the lack of available 
mitigation measures and proximity of mining 
operations to residential areas and to State Highway 89, 
there would be major long-term effects to visual 
resources for all action alternatives. 

6.2.8 CULTURAL RESOURCES 



Overlook would not be directly affected, but indirect 
adverse effects could occur due to increased 
accessibility, making the site more vulnerable to 
collecting or other disturbance. The potential effects to 
the Yarnell Overlook site would be mitigated through 
development and implementation of a data recovery 
plan. 

Cultural resources that were unrecorded or 
undiscovered would be destroyed with the selection of 
any action alternative, thus foregoing long-term use of 
these resources. However, Alternative 2 would not 
disturb the Biedler Mine site. The recovery of 
archaeological information prior to re-establishment of 
mining would be a beneficial short-term use insofar as 
the results enhance understanding of the cultural 
history of the region. Any collected information would 
be preserved and available for re-analysis over the 
longer term, but these cultural resources sites would not 
be available for study in the future when archaeological 
data recovery techniques might have improved. 



6.2.9 



NOISE 



Levels associated with the proposed mining 
activities are considered short-term and directly related 
to the construction and operation of the proposed mine 
and processing facilities. Because of the proximity of 
residential areas to the site, there would be major short- 
term noise impacts for all action alternatives. No long- 
term impacts are anticipated. 



The Yarnell Overlook (a historic Native American 
site) and the Biedler Mine and Edgar Shaft, both 
historic mines, were considered eligible for the 
National Register of Historic Places. The Biedler Mine 
and Edgar Shaft would be disturbed by the SWRD and 
the open pit and have been fully recorded. The Yarnell 



6.2.10 SOCIOECONOMICS 

Selection of any action alternative would provide 
short-term benefits to local and regional economies and 
could potentially provide long-term benefits in the form 
of improved infrastructure, schools and other public 



6-3 



facilities maintained through tax revenues. However, 
many lives would be disrupted by the proposed project 
and many residents of the area would perceive a 
degradation in their lifestyle and quality of life due to 
the presence and operation of the project. 



6.3 IRREVERSIBLE AND 

IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENT OF 

RESOURCES 

The irreversible commitment of resources is defined 
as the use of nonrenewable resources or start of a 
process, which once committed to the proposed project, 
would continue to be committed throughout the life of 
the proposed project and thereafter. Irretrievable 
commitment of resources includes those resources 
used, consumed, destroyed or degraded during 
construction, operation and reclamation of the 
proposed project which could not be retrieved or 
replaced for the life of the project or beyond. 
However, irretrievable commitments may be reversed 
in some cases. This is due in part to the use of 
mitigation measures as described in this EIS or the 
natural restoration of the site. 

The proposed action would result in some 
irreversible and irretrievable commitments of minerals, 
soils, groundwater, biological and cultural resources. 
Any of the action alternatives would result in 
comparable levels of resource commitments. The 
major commitment is the removal of up to 19 million 
tons of material including seven million tons of ore 
from the open pit and approximately 180,000 troy 
ounces of gold entering the open market, thereby 
resulting in both an irreversible and irretrievable 
commitment of geologic and mineral resources. 



The commitments of groundwater, surface water, 
soils, vegetation, wildlife habitat and other land uses 
are considered irretrievable. These resources would be 
disturbed or displaced during the project life of the 
mining operation, but the commitment is somewhat 
reversible to the extent that successful reclamation of 
the mine site would allow for the long-term 
replacement of these resources to some extent. 

The waste rock dumps, heap leach and open pit 
would be committed to remain in place irretrievably 
affecting topography of the area. Approximately 182 
acres of total surface area would be disturbed by 
project operations. This acreage represents an 
irretrievable commitment of soils and vegetation 
resources during the life of the project. Up to one-half 
of the in-place topsoil resources may be irreversibly 
lost because they are not salvageable due to steep 
slopes and boulders. After mining operations cease, 
reclamation efforts would take place as part of the 
proposed action, thereby reversing this commitment to 
some extent with the exception of the 28-acre open pit 
area. 

The consumption of approximately 161 acre-feet 
per year of groundwater would be irretrievable during 
mine operation. The groundwater elevation levels 
measured at wells could decrease within the WRSA, 
but would be expected to return to pre -mining levels 
after mining is completed. In the unlikely event that 
the open pit would dewater aquifer(s), groundwater 
levels could be irreversibly lowered with the 
intercepted water being discharged to Fools Gulch. 

Post-mining land uses, including wildlife habitat 
and open space, would resume following closure and 
reclamation of the disturbed lands. The commitment of 
these resources, as well as wildlife habitat and 



6-4 



dispersed recreation that are supported by them, are 
therefore not irreversible. The exception would be the 
irreversible commitment of the 28-acre pit area to 
restricted land use of open space with limited use by 
wildlife. 

Visual resource impacts would represent significant 
irretrievable and irreversible commitments. 

Commitment of cultural resources would be 
irreversible, although the information content of the 
sites would be recovered. 

Socioeconomic resource effects are described as the 
economic benefits and costs to the affected 
communities and state. These are irretrievable 
commitments for the life of the project and beyond to 
the extent that tax revenues are invested in enduring 
public facilities and programs. Adverse effects to one's 
sense of quality of life and lifestyle could be 
considered both irretrievable and irreversible for some 
persons. Persons who could not adjust to the changes 
brought on by the mining and processing operations 
would likely leave the area, thereby changing social 
structure and the makeup of the affected communities. 



6-5 



CHAPTER 7 
LIST OF PREPARERS 



7.0 LIST OF PREPARERS 

This draft EIS was prepared by the Phoenix Field Office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM). The BLM served as the lead federal agency for EIS preparation. The U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency Region IX is serving as a cooperating agency in EIS preparation. The agencies are being supported by 
resource specialists from AGRA Earth & Environmental. Inc., formerly P.M. De Dycker & Associates, Inc., the 
third party EIS contractor. The EIS interdisciplinary team members are identified below. 

Bureau of Land Management Interdisciplinary (ID) Team Members 



Responsibility 

EIS Project Manager 
Cultural Resources 
Socioeconomics 

Geology 

Mining Plan Review 



Hazardous Materials 
Geology 

Engineering Review 
Mining Plan Review 

Hydrology 
Water Quality 

Water Richts 



Wildlife, Vegetation 
T & E Species 

Land Use 
Vegetation 

Soils 



Land Use 

Visual Resources 

Public Affairs 
Editing 

Management Review 



Name 



Connie Stone 
Phoenix Field Office 



Ron Smith 

Phoenix Field Office 



Jeff Garrett 
Phoenix Field Office 

Ralph Costa 
Arizona State Office 

Steve Markman 

Arizona State Office/Phoenix Field Office 

Lin Fehlmann 
Phoenix Field Office 

Dave Hoerath 
Phoenix Field Office 

Russ Miller 
Phoenix Field Office 

Paul Hobbs 
Kingman Field Office 

Jim Andersen 
Phoenix Field Office 

Kathryn Pedrick 
Phoenix Field Office 

Wendell Peacock 
Phoenix Field Office 

MarLynn Spears 
Phoenix Field Office 



Qualifications 

Ph.D. Anthropology 
22 years experience 

B.S. Mechanical Engineering 

B.S. Geology 

14 years DOI experience 

B.S. Geology 

20 years experience 

B.S. Mining Engineering 
1 7 years experience 

M.S. Watershed Management 
1 1 years experience 

B.S. Secondary Education and Biology 
17 years water rights experience 

B.S. Wildlife Biology 
7 years experience 

B.S. Natural Resources Management 
20 years experience 

B.S. Soil Science 
14 years experience 

B.S. Natural Resources Management 
20 years experience 

M.A. Anthropology 
20 years experience 

B.A. Mass Communications 
1 1 years experience 

B.S. Wildlife Management 
20 years experience 



7-1 



Environmental Protection Agency — Cooperating Agency Review 



Responsibility 

CWA Section 402 
Yarnell Project Manager 



Name 

Laura L. Gentile 

Office of Clean Water Act Permits and 

Standards 



NEPA 


Jeanne Geselbracht 




Federal Activities Office 


Geology 


Karl Kan bergs 


Hydrology 


Federal Activities Office 


CWA Section 404 


Wendy Melgin 


Hydrology 




Hydrogeology 





Qualifications 

B.S. Biology 
B.S. Chemistry 
7 years experience 

B.A. Geography 
M.A. Geography 
1 2 years experience 

B.S. Earth Sciences 
M.S. Economic Geology 
M.S. Hydrogeology 
1 6 years experience 

B.A. Geology 

M.S. Hydrology and Hydrogeology 

1 5 years experience 



AGRA Earth & Environmental, Inc. — Third Party Contractor 



Responsibility 

EIS Project Director 



Public Involvement 
Land Use 
Socioeconomics 
Visual Resources 



Name 

Phillip De Dycker 

AGRA Earth & Environmental, Inc. 

Michael Stanwood 

AGRA Earth & Environmental, Inc. 



Qualifications 

B.S. Environmental Engineering 
24 years experience 

B.S. Psychology 

M.S. Mineral Economics 

1 8 years experience 



Blasting 



Melvin Granberg 



Technical Project Manager AGRA Earth & Environmental. Inc. 



Geochemistry 
Hydrogeology 
Groundwater 
Aquifer Testing 

Vegetation 



Biological Coordinator 
Wildlife 



Air Quality/Climate 
Noise 



Roy Blickwedel 

Advanced GeoServices Corp. 



David Johnson 

Western Ecological Resource, Inc. 



Richard Thompson 
Western Ecosystems, Inc. 



Rodger Steen 
Air Sciences, Inc. 



B.S. Geological Engineering 
B.S. Mining Engineering 
23 years experience 

B.A. Geology 
M.A. Geology 
14 years experience 



B.S. Mathematics 

M.S. Environmental Toxicology 

M.S. Plant Ecology 

24 years experience 

B.S. Wildlife Research 
M.S. Zoology and Physiology 
1 5 years experience 

B.S. Engineering 

M.S. Geofluid Dynamics 

21 years experience 



7-2 



Responsibility 


Name 


Air Quality/Climate 


Dave Randall 




Air Sciences, Inc. 


Noise 


Michael Hankard 




Air Sciences, Inc. 


Soils 


David Buscher 




Soil & Environmental Consultant 



Geology 
Hazardous Materials 

Cultural Resources 



Cultural Resources 



Michael Pappalardo 

Geologic and Water Resources Services 

Marilyn Martorano 

Foothill Engineering Consultants. Inc. 



Ted Hoefer III 

Foothill Engineering Consultants, Inc. 



Administrative Assistant Janet Van Ackeren 

AGRA Earth & Environmental, Inc. 



Qualifications 

B.S. Land Resource Planning 
M.S. Progress, Civil Engineering 
10 years expehience 

B.S. Electrical Engineering 

8 years experience 

B.S. Wildlife Management and Biology 
B.S. Geological Engineering 
M.S. Ecological Engineering 
1 3 years experience 

B.S. Geology 

9 years experience 

B.A. Anthropology 
M.A. Anthropology 
20 years experience 

B.A. Anthropology 

M.A. Anthropology 

Ph.D. currently enrolled in Graduate 

School of Public Affairs 

18 years experience 

27 years assistant experience 



7-3 



CHAPTER 8 

CONSULTATION AND 
COORDINATION 



8.0 CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 



8.1 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 

As required by NEPA and CEQ regulations (40 
CFR 1503), the general public, the business 
community, special interest groups and government 
agencies have been provided the opportunity to become 
informed and comment on the proposed Yarnell 
Project. The BLM accomplished its public 
participation goals for this draft EIS through agency 
and public scoping meetings; public mailings; 
publishing of a notice of intent to prepare an EIS in the 
Federal Register; preparing a Scoping Document; and 
responding to information requests (including Freedom 
of Information Act requests) from the public and other 
agencies. The BLM has considered verbal and written 
comments from all parties throughout this EIS process 
in helping to guide preparation of this EIS document. 

The notice of intent to prepare an EIS for the 
Yarnell Project was published in the Federal Register 
on September 21 , 1995. Meeting announcements were 
placed in the Federal Register and in newspapers, and 
a scoping document describing the proposed action and 
a meeting schedule was mailed to approximately 750 
individuals, public officials and organizations. Public 
scoping meetings conducted in Wickenburg, Yarnell 
and Prescott on October 17, 18 and 19, 1995, 
respectively, were attended by approximately 400 
people. The 60-day public comment period ended on 
November 20, 1995. While this 60-day period 
designated the formal scoping period required by 
NEPA and BLM policy, scoping is actually an ongoing 
process which will occur throughout the EIS process. 



A total of 190 scoping letters/comment forms were 
received from the public during the formal comment 
period. Comments were received from the following 
organizations. 

♦ Guardians of the Rural Environment, 

♦ Weaver Mining District, 

♦ Sierra Club Rincon Group, 

♦ Sierra Club Palo Verde Group, 

♦ Mineral Policy Center, 

♦ Minerals Exploration Coalition and 

♦ Escapees RV Club. 

A total of nine letters/comment forms were received 
from the following governmental agencies. 

♦ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 

♦ Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 

♦ Arizona Department of Water Resources, 

♦ Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral 
Resources, 

♦ Arizona Game and Fish Department and 

♦ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (letter 
received December 14, 1995). 

One letter was received from the Town of Wickenburg. 



8.2 CONSULTATION WITH 

GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES AND 

NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES 

Consultation with federal, state and local agencies 
is being conducted as a part of this EIS process. 
Agencies consulted include: 

♦ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

♦ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

♦ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

♦ Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 

• Air Quality Division 

• Aquifer Protection Permit Unit 

♦ Arizona Mine Inspector's Office 

♦ Arizona Department of Transportation 

♦ Arizona State Land Department 

♦ Arizona Game and Fish Department 

♦ Yavapai County Planning Department 

♦ Arizona State Historic Preservation Office 

♦ City of Wickenburg 

Consultation activities include information/data 
gathering and discussions of significant issues, 
potential environmental effects and mitigation 
measures. Regulatory responsibilities for these 
agencies are discussed in Chapter 1 . 

Native American tribes contacted during the 
scoping process and later consultations include the 
Yavapai-Prescott Tribe, the Yavapai -Apache Tribe, the 
Fort McDowell Mohave-Apache Indian Community 
and the Hopi Tribe. The Yavapai inhabited the region 
historically, and the Hopi claim ancestral ties to the 
general region. 



8.3 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE 

The BLM's mandate on Environmental Justice, 
Presidential Executive Order Number 12898, requires 
that all members of the public have the right to 
participate meaningfully in the BLM's processes and 
the activities affecting their health, welfare and other 
matters in the community. An integral part of scoping 
was to identify any environmental justice issues 
relating to the social, cultural, economic and health 
impacts on minorities and low income groups on BLM 
lands and in BLM activities. 

The BLM has established a strategy to identify any 
minorities and low income groups that may be 
impacted by a proposed action. The strategy consists 
of using all available knowledge of the area and 
consulting with Native American tribes to determine if 
any interested groups exist. Socioeconomic profiles of 
the county and the surrounding communities are 
referenced in the EIS (see Section 3.10), and 
information on statewide alliance groups is researched 
and used where appropriate. 

Through research and scoping, the general public 
was informed and invited to become involved in the 
EIS process. No significant minority or low income 
groups have been identified. The environmental justice 
analysis indicates that all segments of the population 
would be affected equally by the potential effects of the 
proposed action (see Section 4.1.17). 

The BLM considers, in its land and resources 
management decisions, the health, social and economic 
impacts on any identified low income and minority 
groups and/or communities. The BLM has taken an 
active approach to outreach in and around minority and 



low income communities. The BLM is committed to 
equitable service to all communities. 



8.4 EIS AVAILABILITY 

8.4.1 PUBLIC REVIEW 

Draft EISs will be available for public review at the 
BLM Phoenix Field Office. BLM Arizona State Office 
in Phoenix, Arizona State University Library in Tempe, 
the Prescott Public Library, Yarnell Public Library, 
Wickenburg Public Library and the Yarnell Mining 
Company in Yarnell. 

8.4.2 LIST OF AGENCIES, ORGANIZATIONS 
AND INDIVIDUALS TO WHOM COPIES 
OF THIS EIS WERE SENT 

ELECTED OFFICIALS 

U.S. Senator John Kyi 

U.S. Senator John McCain 

U.S. Representative Bob Stump 

Office of the Governor. State of Arizona 

Sue Lynch, Arizona State House of Representatives 

William Feldmeier, Yavapai County Board of 
Supervisors 

Office of the Mayor. City of Wickenburg 
AGENCIES 



Arizona Department of Commerce, State 
Clearinghouse 

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Air 
Quality Division 

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Mining 
APP Unit 



Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources 

Arizona Department of Transportation 

Arizona Department of Water Resources 

Arizona Game and Fish Department 

Arizona State Land Department 

Arizona State Land Department, Natural Resources 
Division 

Arizona State Land Department, Water Rights Division 

Arizona State Mine Inspector's Office 

Arizona State Parks, State Historic Preservation Office 

Directorate of Environmental Quality, Civil Engineer 
HO USFS/CEVP 

Office of Deputy A/S of the USAF 

Prescott National Forest 

Town of Wickenburg, City Manager 

U.S. Army Corps, of Engineers 

U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Agricultural 
Library 

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of NEPA Oversight 

U.S. Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Indian Affairs 

Bureau of Land Management, Director 

Bureau of Land Management. National Applied 
Resource Science Center 

Bureau of Reclamation 

Minerals Management Service 

National Park Service 

Natural Resources Library 

Office of Environmental Project Coordinator 

Office of Public Affairs 

Office of Surface Mining Reel. & Enforcement 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

U.S. Geological Survey 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EIS Filing 
Section 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Region IX 

U.S. Forest Service. Department of Agriculture 

Yavapai County Planning Department 



8-3 



ORGANIZATIONS 

Arizona Mining Association 

Arizona State University Libraries 

Arizona Wildlife Federation 

ASARCO 

Bio/West, Inc. 

Center for Science in Public Participation 

Dames & Moore 

Escapees, Inc. 

Fort McDowell Mohave-Apache Indian Community 

GSA Resources Inc. 

Guardians of the Rural Environment 

Hassayampa River Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) 

Hobday Enterprises 

Hopi Tribe 

Levy Trucking 

Maricopa Mica Mines 

Mineral Policy Center 

Pebble Pickin Posse 

People for the West 

Prescott Courier 

Prescott Public Library 

Rayco Enterprises 

Resource Advisory Council 

Sierra Club, Palo Verde Group 

Sierra Club, Rincon Group 

South Branch Resources 

Southwest Center for Biological Diversity 

Southwestern Minerals Exploration Assoc. 

The Harcuvar Company 

Weaver Mining District 

Western Mining Action Project 

Western Resource Development 

Wickenburg Public Library 

Wickenburg Sun 

Yarnell Public Library 



Yavapai-Apache Indian Tribe 
Yavapai -Prescott Indian Tribe 

INDIVIDUALS 

Joyce L. Ahearn 

William & Carole Ashworth 

David L. Baker 

Paul Bauer 

Leonard & Sandy Baumgarten 

Julia Bengston 

Otto Berthelsen 

John & Delores Blizzard 

Katie Booth 

George Brown 

Ross W. Bruner 

Bob Burkhart 

William & Nancy Cameron 

Virgil Carson 

Howard Chamberlain 

Nola Cook 

Nita & Ben Crane 

George E. Daniels 

David A. De Kok 

Donald C. Drebing 

Jim & Mary Edgin 

Robert C. Euler 

Robert Faires 

Willace & Harriet Gesberg 

Andy Groseta 

Warren Haskin 

Roc Indermill 

JackB. Jacks 

Don & Maggie Jensen 

O.G. Johnson 

Gerard & Shirley Kneipp 

Marie Koehler 

John Koweil 



8-4 



Dorothy Kropp 

Jim Kuipers 

Lois M. Lancette 

Ben Leach 

Johanna L. Marks 

P.K. Rana Medhi 

Edwin W. Minch 

Jane Ellen Moody 

Jim Nagel 

Don & Beverly Newhouse 

Terri Palmberg 

Harland Plattenberg 

L.J. Polum 

Robert J. Radesi 

Joan Ridder 

Jane M. Roper 

Norma Scheall 

Wayne Schlegel 

Ray Schneider 

James D. Sell 

Robert L. Spude 

J.W. Suchor 

Rachel Thomas 

Charles P. Van Epps 

Jean Vance 

John C. Voelker 

Phil & Emma Waner 

Gene Wendt 



8-5 



CHAPTER 9 

REFERENCES 



9.0 REFERENCES 



ABC Demographic Consultants. Inc., 1994. Popula- 
tion Trend Report, prepared for the Yavapai 
College Small Business Development Center. 

Air Sciences, Inc., 1998. Yarnell Odor Impact Study. 

Algermissen. ST.. D.M. Perkins. PC Thenhaus, S.L. 
Hanson and B.L. Bender, 1982. 
"Probabilistic Estimates of Maximum 
Acceleration and Velocity in Rock in the 
Contiguous United States." USGS Open-File 
Report 82-1033. 

Anderson, P., 1989. Stratigraphic framework, 
volcanic-plutonic evolution and vertical 
deformation of the Proterozoic volcanic helts 
of Central Arizona, p. 57- 1 47. in Jenny, J.P., 
and Reynolds, S.L., 1989. Geologic evolution 
of Arizona: Tucson, Arizona Geological 
Society Digest Volume XVII. 866 pages. 



Arizona Department of Commerce, 1 996a. 
County Profile. 



Yavapai 



Arizona Department of Commerce, 1996b. Yarnell 
Community Profile. 



Arizona Game and Fish Department, 1988. 
Threatened native wildlife in Arizona. 32 pp., 
Arizona Game Dish Dept. Publ., Phoenix, 
Arizona. 

Arizona Public Service Company, 1995. Brochure on 
Arizona and Yavapai County economies. 

Barbour, R.W. and W.H. Davis, 1969. Bats of 
America. 286 pp. University Press Kentucky, 
Lexington. Kentucky. 

Barfield, B.J., Warner. R.C., and Haan, C.T., 1985. 
Applied Hydrology and Sedimentology For 
Disturbed Areas, 603 pp., Oklahoma 
Technical Press, Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

Bell. G.P.. G.A. Bartholomew and K.A. Nagy, 1986. 
The role of energetics, water economy, 
foraging behavior and geothermal refugia in 
the distribution of the bat Macrotus 
Californicus, J. Comp. Physiol. 1 56: 441 -450. 

Bradshaw, G.V.R., 1962. Reproductive cycle of the 
California leaf-nosed bat. Macrotus 
californicus, Science 146: 645-646. 



Arizona Department of Economic Security, 1997. 
Published and unpublished data on 
employment and income. Phoenix, Arizona. 



Brown, D.E., 1973. The natural vegetative com- 
munities of Arizona. Map. Arizona 
Resources Information System, 1973:1. 



Arizona Department of Education. 
Statistics. 



1996. Enrollment 



Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 
(ADEQ), 1995. Arizona Ambient Air Quality 
Guidelines. Phoenix, Arizona. 

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 
(ADEQ). 1996. "Arizona Mining BADCT 
Guidance Manual." 

Arizona Department of Transportation, 1996. 
Published and unpublished data on 
transportation. Phoenix, Arizona. 

Arizona Economic Data Center, 1997. Various 
published and unpublished data. Arizona 
State University. 



Brown. D.E. and C.H. Lowe, 1980. Biotic 
communities of the Southwest. General 
Technical Report RM-7 1 , U.S. Forest Service, 
Rocky Mountain Range and Experimental 
Station. 

Brown, D.E., 1993. A winter survey for the California 
leaf-nosed bat in the Cargo Muchacho 
Mountains, Brown-Berry Biological Con- 
sultants, Ridgecrest, California. Unpubl. 
Mimeo. 

Brown. P.E., R.D. Berry and C. Brown. 1993. The 
California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus 
californicus) at the American Girl Mine. 
Paper presented March 10 at California 
Mining Association. Monterey. California. 



9-1 



Chatwin, Terrence D., 1989. Cyanide 

Attenuation/Degradation in Soil: Resource 
Conservation and Recovery Company, Salt 
Lake City, Utah. 



Hallock, R.J., 1992. Elimination of migratory bird 
mortality and gold and silver mines using 
cyanide extraction, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. 



City of Wickenburg Ambulance Service, 1997. 
Personal communication with T. Evans, 
October. 

DeWitt, E., 1986. Geochemistry and tectonic polarity 
of Early Proterozoic ( 1 700- 1 750 Ma) plutonic 
rocks, north-central Arizona, p. 149-163 in 
Jenny, J.P. and Reynolds, S.J., 1989. 
Geological Society Digest Volume XVII, 866 
pages. 

Dick, Richard A., Larry R. Fletcher, and Dennis V. 
DAndrea, 1983. Explosives and Blasting 
Procedures Manual, Information Circular 
8925. U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau 
of Mines. 

E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., (Inc.), 1 980. Blasters 
Handbook, 16th Edition. Euge, K.M., B.A. 
Schnell and LP. Lam, 1992. Development of 
Seismic Acceleration Contour Maps for 
Arizona . Report Number AZ92-344, prepared 
for Arizona Department of Transportation 
(ADOT), September. 



Harwood, D.W., J.G. Viner and E.R. Russell, 1990. 
Truck Accident Rate Model for Hazardous 
Materials Routing, Transportation Research 
Record 1264. 

Hill Top Realty, 1996. Letter to Connie Stone of 
BLM, February 28. 

Hoefer, T., M.A. Martorano and D.G. Killam, 1996a. 
Cultural resource investigations at the 
proposed Yarnell gold mine, Yavapai County, 
Arizona. Cultural Resources Report No. 17, 
Foothill Engineering Consultants, Inc. 

Hoefer, T., W. Smith and D. Killam, 1996b. Cultural 
resources inventory of the proposed Yarnell 
gold mine water supply system, Yavapai 
County, Arizona. Cultural Resources Report 
No. 29, Foothills Engineering Consultants, 
Inc. 

Hoffmeister, D.F., 1986. Mammals of Arizona, 602 
pp.. University of Arizona and Arizona Game 
and Fish Department. 



England, Bob, M.D.. M.P.H., State Epidemiologist, 
"Coccidioidomycosis In Arizona," Prevention 
Bulletin, January-February 1997. 

Ferguson, Morris and Associates, Inc., 1975. A 
General Development Plan for Yavapai 
County, Arizona, prepared for the Yavapai 
County Board of Supervisors, Scottsdale, 
Arizona. 

Fleming, T.H. and U.S. Department of the Interior, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 1977. Lesser 
Long-Nosed Bat Recovery Plan. 

Groundwater Resources Consultants, Inc.. June 1996. 
Baseline hydrogeologic characterization 
report for the proposed Yarnell Mine Project. 

Groundwater Resources Consultants, Inc.. January 
1998. Computer Simulation of Groundwater 
Withdrawal for the Proposed Yarnell Mine. 

Groundwater Resources Consultants, Inc., February 
1998. Response to Groundwater Modeling 
Comments, Yarnell Mine. 



International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), 
1991. Uniform Building Code , 1991 Edition. 

Johnson, D.L., 1994. Baseline vegetation study, 
Yarnell Mine Project, Yavapai County, 
Arizona, Western Resource Development 
Corp., Boulder, Colorado. 

Keane, M. and A.E. Rogge, 1992. Gold and silver 
mining in Arizona, 1848-1945: A context for 
historic preservation planning. Research 
Paper No. 6 prepared for the Arizona State 
Historic Preservation Office, Dames and 
Moore Cultural Research Service, Phoenix, 
Arizona. 

Lowe. C.H. and D.E. Brown, 1973. The natural 
vegetation of Arizona, 2:53 pp., Arizona 
Resources Information System. 

Nicholls, Harry R., Charles F. Johnson and Wilbur I. 
Duvall, 1971. Blasting Vibrations and Their 
Effects on Structures, Bulletin 656, U.S. 
Department of the Interior. Bureau of Mines. 
Prescott Chamber of Commerce, 1995. 
Prescott Profile. 



9-2 



Page, T.C., M.A. Miller, P.C. Gibson and J.D. Sell, 
1994. "Geology and geochemistry of the 
Yarnell gold deposit," Mining Engineering , 
pp. 1061-1064, September. 

Rutman, S., 1992. Handbook of Arizona's 
endangered, threatened, and candidate plants, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Phoenix, 
Arizona. 

Singh, B. and P. Pal Roy, 1993. Blasting in Ground 
Excavations and Mines. 

Shepherd Miller, Inc., August 1995. Baseline 
geochemical characterization report for the 
Yarnell Project. 

Shepherd Miller. Inc., September 1995. Baseline 
hydrologic characterization report for the 
Yarnell Project. 

Shepherd Miller, Inc., April 1996. Facilities design 
report for the Yarnell Project. 

Shepherd Miller, Inc., April 1996. Facilities Summary 
Report for the Yarnell Project. 



lasting, Report of Investigations 8508. U.S. 
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines. 

Stone. C.L., 1986. Deceptive desolation: prehistory of 
the Sonoran Desert in west central Arizona, 
Cultural Resource Series No. 1. Bureau of 
Land Management. Phoenix, Arizona. 

Thompson, R.W., 1993. Biological assessment for the 
Oro Cruz mining operation, the expansion of 
the American Girl Project. Imperial County, 
California, 76 pp., Western Ecosystems, Inc., 
Boulder, Colorado. (Report prepared for 
BLM for submission to the USFWS.) 

Thompson, R.W., 1994. Wildlife baseline study for 
the Yarnell Mine Project, Yavapai County, 
Arizona, 35 pp.. Western Ecosystems, Inc., 
Boulder, Colorado. 

Transportation Research Board, 1994. Highway 
Capacity Manual, Third Edition. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1982. "Engineering 
and Design Stability for Earth and Rockfill 
Dams," EM 1110-2-1902. 



Shepherd Miller, Inc., October 1996. Responses to 
ADEQ. comments on hydrologic and B ADCT 
technical review of the APP application for 
the Yarnell Project. 

Shepherd Miller. Inc.. July 1997. Characterization of 
Existing Tailings for the Yarnell Project. 



U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1 990. Census data of the 
U.S., published and unpublished data. U.S. 
Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 1981. 
Lower Gila North Resource Area- 
Management Framework Plan. 



Siskind. David E., Virgil J. Stachura, Mark S. Stagg 
and Jown W. Kopp, 1980. Structure 
Response and Damage Produced by Airblast 
From Surface Mining, Report of 
Investigations 8485, U.S. Department of the 
Interior, Bureau of Mines. 

Siskind. David E.. M. S. Stagg. J. W. Kopp and C. H. 
Dowding, 1980. Structure Response and 
Damage Produced by Ground Vibration From 
Surface Mine Blasting. Report of 
Investigations 8507, U.S. Department of the 
Interior, Bureau of Mines. 

Soil Survey Staff, 1975. "Soil Taxonomy - A Basic 
System of Soil Classification for Making and 
Interpreting Soil Surveys," U.S. Department 
of Agriculture Handbook No. 436. 

Stachura, Virgil J. David E. Siskind and Alvin J. 
Engler, 1981. Airblast Instrumentation and 
Measurement Techniques for Surface Mine 



U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 1986. 
Visual Resource Contrast Rating Handbook, 
BLM Handbook 8431-1. 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 1988. 
National Environmental Policy Act 
Handbook, BLM Handbook 1790-1. 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 1992a. 
Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (H- 

3042-1). 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Arizona 
State Office. 1992b. "Cyanide Management 
Plan," April. 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 1994a. 
Final environmental impact statement Oro 
Cruz operation of the American Girl Mining 
Project. USDI BLM, EI Centro Resource 
Area, El Centro. California. 



9-3 



U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 1994b. 
"Draft Bureau of Land Management Acid 
Rock Drainage Policy," June 2. 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 1996. 
Scoping Report for the proposed Yarnell 
Project EIS. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Soil Conservation 
Service (USDA-SCS), 1976. "Soil Survey of 
Yavapai County, Arizona, Western Part." 

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 
1985. Geologic Factors Affecting Vibration 
from Surface Mine Blasting. 



Walsh Environmental Scientists and Engineers, Inc. 
(Walsh), 1995 and 1996. "Soil Resource 
Inventory, Yarnell Mine Project, Yavapai 
County, Arizona," prepared for Yarnell 
Mining Company, December. 

Western Ecological Resources, Inc., 1997. 
"Supplemental Wetland Delineation - Yarnell 
Mine Project Water Pipeline Corridors," 
prepared for Yarnell Mining Company, July. 

Western Ecosystems, Inc., 1994 and 1996. "Wildlife 
Baseline Study for the Yarnell Mine Project, 
Yavapai County, Arizona," prepared for 
Yarnell Mining Company, December. 



U.S. Department of the Interior, 1995. Office of 
Environmental Policy and Compliance, 
Environmental Compliance Memorandum No. 
ECM95-3. 



Western Resource Development, 1994 and 1996. 
"Baseline Vegetation Study, Yarnell Mine 
Project, Yavapai County, Arizona," prepared 
for Yarnell Mining Company, December. 



U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 
Blasting Guidance Manual, 1987. USDIFish 
and Wildlife Service, 1989. CFR Part 17, 
Endangered and threatened wildlife and 
plants: animal notice of review. Federal 
Register, January 6:554-579. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1974. 
Information on Levels of Environ-mental 
Noise Requisite to Protect Public Health and 
Welfare with an Adequate Margin of Safety. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1986. 
Superfund Public Health Evaluation Manual: 
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency 
Response, EPA-540/ 1-86/060. 



Western Resource Development, 1995. "Wetland 
Delineation Report, Yarnell Mine Project 
Yavapai County, Arizona," prepared for 
Yarnell Mining Company, January. 

Yarnell Mining Company, 1994. updated in 1995 and 
1996. Mining Plan of Operation for the 
Yarnell Project, Yarnell, Arizona. 

Yavapai Community College, 1996. Prescott 
Sourcebook. Prepared by the YCC Small 
Business Development Center for the Prescott 
Chamber of Commerce, 6 lh Edition, April. 

Yavapai County, 1996. Adopted Budget for 1996-97. 
Prepared by the Yavapai County Board of 
Supervisors, Prescott. Arizona. 



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1993. 
Treatibility Manual, Vol. 1, Treatibility Data: 
Office of Research and Development EPA- 
600/2-82/001 A. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1997. 
Comments on Yarnell Project Administrative 
Draft EIS, August 13. 



Yavapai County Assessor's Office, 1996. Personal 
Communication with K. Baldwin. July. 

Yavapai County Assessor's Office, 1997. Personal 
Communication with J. Christopherson, 
October. 

Yavapai County Sheriffs Office. 1996. Personal 
Communication with B. Buchanan, August. 



9-4 



CHAPTER 10 

ACRONYMS AND GLOSSARY 



10.0 ACRONYMS AND GLOSSARY 



ACRONYMS 

A.A.S. Alluvial Aquifer System 

ACEC. Area of Critical Environmental Concern 

ACHP. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. 

ACOE. Army Corps of Engineers 

ADEQ. Arizona Department of Environmental 
Quality 

ADOT. Arizona Department of Transportation 

ADR. Adsorption, Desorption and Refinery Plant 

ADWR. Arizona Department of Water Resources 

AEL. Acceptable Exposure Level 

AGFD. Arizona Game and Fish Department 

AID. Air Installation Permit 

ANP/AGP. Acid Neutralization Potential/Acid 
Generation Potential 

APE. Area of Potential Effect 

APP. Aquifer Protection Permit, as regulated by the 
Arizona Department of Environmental 
Quality (ADEQ) 

AQD. Air Quality Division 

AQP. Air Quality Permit 

ARD. Acid Rock Drainage 

ARPA. Archaeological Resources Protection Act 

ATV. All-Terrain Vehicle 

BADCT. Best Available Demonstrated Control 
Technology 

BAT. Best Available Technology Economically 
Achievable 

BCAS. Bedrock Complex Aquifer System 



BCT. Best Conventional Technology 

BLM. Bureau of Land Management 

BMP. Best Management Practice 

CDC. Center for Disease Control 

CEQ. Council on Environmental Quality 

COE. Corps of Engineers 

DIA. Discharge Impact Area 

EIS. Environmental Impact Statement 

ENP. Emergency Notification Plan 

EPA. Environmental Protection Agency 

ESA. Endangered Species Act 

FLPMA. Federal Land Policy and Management Act 

GPM. Gallons per minute 

HAP. Hazardous Air Pollutants 

HDPE. High Density Polyethylene 

IT. Interdisciplinary Team 

KOPs. Key Observation Points 

Lj,, Hourly medium noise level at a location 

L w The noise level that is exceeded 909^ of the time 
at a location; the background noise level 

L EQS Hourly average noise level at a location 

MCL. Maximum Containment Levels 

RFP. Management Framework Plan 

MMPA. Mining and Mineral Policy Act 

MOU. Memorandum of Understanding 

MPO. Mining Plan of Operation 

MSA. Mine Site Study Area 



1 0-1 



MSHA. Mine Safety and Health Administration 

MSL. Mean Sea Level 

NAAQS. National Ambient Air Quality Standards 

NEPA. National Environmental Policy Act of 1 969 

NHPA. National Historic Preservation Act 

NOI. Notice of Intent 

NPDES. National Pollution Discharge Elimination 
System 

NRHP. National Register of Historic Places 

NWRD. North Waste Rock Dump 

OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Adminis- 
traction 

OSM. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement 

PM, . A measurement of the amount of suspended 
particulate matter (i.e., those particles less 
than 10 microns in diameter) in the 
atmosphere 

PPM. Parts Per Million 

PPV. Peak Particle Velocity 

PSD. Prevention of Significant Deterioration 

QA. Quality Assurance 

ROD. Record of Decision 

ROW. Right-of-Way 

SCS. Soil Conservation Service 

SHPO. State Historic Preservation Office 

SIP. State Implementation Plan 

SPCC. Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures 

STEL. Short-term Exposure Limit 

SVR. Standard Visual Range 

SWPPP. Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan 



SWRD. South Waste Rock Dump 

TDS. Total dissolved solids 

TSV. Tertiary Sediments/Volcanic Aquifer System 

USFWS. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

VRM. Visual Resource Management 

VRMS. Visual Resource Management System 

WAD. Weak Acid Dissociable 

WRD. Waste Rock Dump 

WRSA. Water Resource Study Area 

YMC. Yarnell Mining Company 

GLOSSARY 

100- YEAR STORM. The most severe storm event 
likely to occur once every 100 years. 

ACID DRAINAGE OR ACID ROCK DRAINAGE 
(WRD). Drainage with a pH of 2.0 to 4.5. It 
results from the oxidation of sulfides, which 
produces sulfuric acid and sulfate salts. The 
acid dissolves minerals in the rocks, further 
degrading the quality of the drainage water. 

AESTHETICS. The appeal or beauty of objects, 
animals, plants, scenes, natural or improved 
areas to the viewer and his/her appreciation 
for such items. 

AIRBASE. The airborne shock wave resulting from 
the detonation of explosives. Primarily 
caused by movement of the earth (burden) or 
the release of expanding gases into the air. It 
may or may not be audible. 

ALTERNATIVE. A different method of reaching the 
same purpose and need as that of the 
proposed action. 

AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARD. A legal 
limit on the amount of a given pollutant that is 
permitted in the ambient air. 



AMERICAN INDIAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 

ACT OF 1978. An Act which establishes a 
U.S. policy to protect and preserve the 



10-2 



religious freedom of Native Americans by, 
among other things, allowing access to sites, 
use and possession of sacred objects and the 
freedom to worship through ceremonials and 
traditional rites. It also requires the President 
to direct federal agencies to evaluate their 
policies in consultation with native religious 
leaders to determine appropriate changes. 

AQUIFER. A geological formation or structure that 
contains water in sufficient quantity to supply 
needs for water development. 

ATTAINMENT AREA. An area which meets 
ambient air quality standards. 



Interior) of taxonomic groups or species of 
plants or animals being considered for listing 
as either threatened or endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1 973, as amended. 

COMPLIANCE. Compliance with legislation or 
regulations issued pursuant thereto. Also, 
compliance with a schedule or plan ordered or 
approved by a court of competent jurisdiction, 
the Environmental Protection Agency or an 
environmental pollution control agency. 

CONCENTRATE. The valuable fraction of an ore 
that is left after worthless material is removed 
in processing. 



BACKFILL. 1 ) Waste rock, sand or tailings used to 
fill a mined-out pit or support an underground 
mine opening after removal of ore. 2) The 
process of re-filling a mined-out pit with 
waste rock. 

BAGHOUSE. An air pollution abatement device used 
to trap particulates by filtering gas streams 
through large fabric bags, usually made of 
glass fibers. 

BARREN SOLUTION. Non-precious metals-bearing 
dilute cyanide solution. 

BASELINE CONDITION. That condition of 
environmental or other resources prior to 
disturbance. 

BASELINE DATA. That data collected in an area 
prior to disturbance to describe baseline 
conditions. 

BENCH. A vertical lift of ore or waste material to be 
mined. The combination of a number of 
benches (or sometimes a single bench) forms 
the highball. The relatively level terrace left 
between mined lifts may also be referred to as 
a bench or safety bench. These combine to 
form the overall angle of the highball. 

BIOTA. The flora and fauna of a region. 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. The 

agency of the U.S. Government, under the 
Department of Interior, responsible for 
administering some of the public lands of the 
U.S. 

CANDIDATE SPECIES. Classification by the Fish 
and Wildlife Service (U.S. Department of the 



CONDUIT. A passage filled with water under 
hydrostatic pressure. 

CORRIDOR. A linear strip of land identified for the 
present or future location of transportation or 
utility rights-of-way. 

COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 
(CEQ). An advisory council to the President 
established by the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969. It reviews federal 
programs for their effect on the environment, 
conducts environmental studies and advises 
the President on environmental matters. 

COVER. The proportion of ground surface under live 
aerial parts of plants or the combined aerial 
parts of plants and mulch. Also describes 
vegetation or terrain used by wildlife for 
protection from predators and adverse weather 
conditions, and is a major component of 
wildlife habitat. 

CRITICAL HABITAT. Habitat on which a species 
depends for survival because there are no 
alternative ranges or habitats available. 

CULTURAL RESOURCE. The remains of sites, 
structures or objects used by humans in the 
historic or prehistoric past. 

CULVERT. A conduit, especially a drain, under a 
road, through an embankment, etc. 

CUMULATIVE EFFECTS OR IMPACTS. The 

impact on the environment which results from 
the incremental impact of the action when 
added to other past, present and reasonably 
foreseeable future actions, regardless of what 
agency (federal or nonfederal) or person 



10-3 



undertakes such actions. Cumulative impacts 
can result from individually minor but 
collectively significant actions taking place 
over time. 

CYANIDE. A solid chemical compound (sodium or 
calcium cyanide) dissolved in water to form a 
solution suitable for the extraction of precious 
metals from ore using a leaching process. 

DATA RECOVERY PROGRAM The systematic 
investigation of cultural features or artifacts at 
a site. 

DECIBEL. A unit of air pressure (or sound) 
commonly used to measure airbase from 
explosives. The decibel scale is logarithmic. 

DEVELOPMENT ROCK. Rock removed in the 
process of reaching the ore to be mined that is 
discarded without being crushed and milled. 

DIRECT IMPACTS. Impacts caused by the action 
and occurring at the same time and place (40 
CAR 1508.7). Synonymous with direct 
effects. 



ENDANGERED SPECIES. Any species of animal 
or plant that is in danger of extinction 
throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range; plant or animal species identified by 
the Secretary of the Interior as endangered in 
accordance with the 1 973 Endangered Species 
Act. 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

(EIS). A statement of the environmental 
effects of a proposed action and alternatives 
to it. It is required for major federal actions 
under Section 102 of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and 
released to the public and other agencies for 
comment and review. It is a formal document 
that must follow the requirements of NEPA, 
the Council on Environmental Quality (SEQ.) 
guidelines and directives of the agency 
responsible for the project proposal. 

FAULT. The plane of movement where one section of 
earth has moved with respect to an adjacent 
section of earth. Fault zones are often 
comprised of broken rock and may contain 
mineralization. 



DIVERSITY. The variety of species within a given 
association of organisms. Areas of high 
diversity are characterized by a great variety 
of species; usually relatively few individuals 
represent any one species. Areas with low 
diversity are characterized by a few species; 
often relatively large numbers of individuals 
represent each species. 



FAUNA. The animal life of a region. 

FLOODPLAIN. Nearly level land on either or both 
sides of a channel that is subject to overflow 
flooding. 

FLORA. The sum total of the kinds of plants in an 
area at one time. 



DRAWDOWN. A lowering of the water table of an 
unconfined aquifer or the potentiometric 
surface of a confined aquifer caused by 
pumping of groundwater from wells. 



FLOTATION. Method of mineral separation 
wherehy a froth created in water by a variety 
of reagents floats some finely crushed 
minerals whereas others sink. 



ECOSYSTEM. An interacting system of organisms 
considered together with their environment 
(e.g., marsh, watershed and lake ecosystems). 

EFFECTIVE POROSITY. The ratio (percentage) of 
water that a saturated aquifer will yield in 
relation to its total volume. 

EFFECTS. See IMPACTS. 



FLYROCK. Rock that is thrown through the air from 
detonation of explosives. Flyrockis normally 
the result of a poorly designed blast, error or 
weak zones in the material being blasted. 

FOOT WALL. The foot wall is the material below a 
fault or ore zone. If a tunnel was driven into 
the ore or fault, it would be the material 
underfoot. 



ELECTROWINNING. The process of elec- 
trolytically depositing metals or separating 
them from their ores or alloys. 

EMISSION. A substance released into the air. 



FORMATION. A body of rock strata that consists 
dominantly of a certain lithologic type or 
combination of types. Formations may be 
combined into groups or subdivided into 
members. 



10-4 



FUGITIVE DUST. Wind-borne soil particles which 
are the result of development activities (e.g., 
construction equipment, etc.). This dust can 
be very limited locally or quite extensive in 
distribution. 



another in a manner that allows mixing of 
water between the two aquifers. The mixing 
can occur through fractures, physical contact 
of the aquifers and open holes penetrating 
both aquifers. 



GEOCHEMISTRY. The study of the distribution 
and amounts of the chemical elements in 
minerals, ores, rocks, soils, water and the 
atmosphere, and their circulation in nature, on 
the basis of the properties of their atoms and 
ions. 

GEOTECHNICAL. A branch of engineering 
concerned with the engineering design aspects 
of slope stability, settlement, earth pressures, 
bearing capacity, seepage control and erosion. 

GRADE. The relative quantity or percentage of metal 
content in an ore body. 

HABITAT. The place where a plant or animal 
naturally or normally lives or grows. 

HANGING WALL. The hanging wall is the rock 
above the fault or ore zone looking in cross 
section. If a tunnel was driven into the ore or 
fault, it would be the material hanging 
overhead. 

HARD ROCK. Rock that requires drilling and 
blasting for its economical removal. 

HEAP LEACH PAD. A facility lined by 
impermeable material to collect the leach 
solutions which are slowly applied to a pile of 
ore placed in several layers onto the pad. 

HERPETOFAUNA. The reptiles and amphibians of 
a specified region or time. 

HERTZ (Hz). One hertz is one cycle per second. The 
term is used to express the frequency of 
ground vibration and airbase. 

HIGHBALL. The highball is the face of rock from 
the ore or pit bottom to the surface. 

HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY. The rate at which 
water is transmitted under a unit hydraulic 
head. The hydraulic conductivity of an 
aquifer is its transmissivity divided by the 
aquifer thickness. 

HYDRAULIC CONNECTION. The condition when 
two aquifers are in communication with one 



HYDRAULIC GRADIENT. Pressure gradient, or 
rate of change in the head pressure per unit of 
distance of flow, at a given point and in a 
given direction. It is the driving force for 
movement of water through an aquifer. 

IMPACT AREA. That area affected by a 
development project. 

IMPACTS. Environmental changes resulting from a 
proposed action. Included are direct impacts, 
which are caused by the action and occur at 
the same time and place, and indirect impacts, 
which are caused by the action and are later in 
time or further removed in distance, but which 
are still reasonably foreseeable. Indirect 
impacts may include growth-inducing effects 
and other effects related to induced changes in 
the pattern of land use, population density or 
growth rate, and related effects on air and 
water and other natural systems, including 
ecosystems. Impacts and effects as used in 
the EIS are synonymous. Impacts include 
ecological (such as the effects on natural 
resources and on the components, structures 
and functioning of affected ecosystems), 
aesthetic quality, historic, cultural, economic, 
social or health effects, whether direct, 
indirect or cumulative. Impacts may also 
include those resulting from actions that may 
have both beneficial and detrimental effects, 
even if on the balance the agency believes that 
the effects will be beneficial. 

INDIRECT IMPACTS. Impacts that are caused by 
the action and are later in time or farther 
removed in distance, but still reasonably 
foreseeable (40 CAR 1508.8). Synonymous 
with indirect effects. 

INFRASTRUCTURE. The foundation underlying a 
nation's, region's or community's economy 
(e.g., transportation and communications 
systems, power facilities, schools, hospitals, 
etc.). 

INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM (IT). A group of 
individuals with different training assembled 
to solve a problem or perform a task. The 
team is assembled out of recognition that no 



10-5 



one scientific discipline is sufficiently broad 
to adequately solve the problem. 

ISSUE OF CONCERN. A point, matter or question 
of public discussion or interest to be 
considered through the environmental 
analysis. 

JOINT. A fracture in rock, more or less vertical or 
transverse to bedding, along which no 
appreciable movement has taken place. 

KEY OBSERVATION POINTS. Points selected as 
representative of the possible views of a 
project. 

LANDLORD. An area defined by its particular 
combination of bedrock and soils, erosion 
processes and climatic influences. 

LAND USE. The primary or primary and secondary 
use(s) of land, such as Copeland, woodland, 
pastureland, etc. 

LEACHATE. Solution of soluble materials formed 
from percolation of water through strata. 

LEACHING. The removal of the more soluble 
materials by percolating waters. 

LINED POND. A water storage facility with an 
amended soil layer or other type of material 
covering the bottom and slopes to prevent 
leakage of fluids. 

LOAMY. Soils intermediate in texture and properties 
between fine-textured and coarse-textured 
soils. 

METEOROLOGICAL. Of, or pertaining to, weather 
or climate. 

MINE DEVELOPMENT. The operations involved 
in preparing a mine for ore extraction, 
including tunneling, sinking, crosscutting, 
drifting and raising. 

MINE WATER. Groundwater collected in a mine 
and drainage from the associated tailings. 

MINERALIZATION. The process by which 
valuable mineral or minerals are introduced 
into a rock, resulting in a potential or actual 
ore deposit. 



MINING PLAN OF OPERATION (MPO). A 

document required from any person proposing 
to conduct mineral-related activities on 
federal lands. 

MITIGATION. Mitigation includes: (a) avoiding the 
impact altogether by not taking a certain 
action; (b) minimizing impacts by limiting the 
degree or magnitude of the action and its 
implementation; (c) rectifying the impact by 
repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the 
affected environment; (d) reducing or 
eliminating the impact over time by 
preservation and maintenance operations 
during the life of the action and (e) replacing 
or providing substitute resources or 
environments. 

MODEL. A representative of reality used to describe, 
analyze or understand a particular concept. A 
"model" may be a relatively simple qualitative 
description of a system or organization, or a 
highly abstract set of mathematical equations. 

MONITORING. Efforts to systematically watch, 
observe or measure environmental conditions 
to track changes. 

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT 
OF 1969 (NEPA). Public Law 91-190. 

Establishes environmental policy for the 
nation. Among other items, NEPA requires 
federal agencies to consider environmental 
values in the decision-making process. 

NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT 

OF 1966. An Act which declares a national 
policy of historic preservation (defined in the 
Act as "the protection, rehabilitation, 
restoration and reconstruction of districts, 
sites, building, structures, and objects 
significant in American history, architecture, 
archaeology, or culture"), including the 
encouragement of preservation on the state 
and private levels. 

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES 
(RHP). A listing (maintained by the 
National Park Service) of areas designated as 
being of historical significance. The Register 
includes places of local and state significance 
as well as those of value to the nation. 

NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE. Required by the 
National Environmental Policy Act, this 
alternative analyzes the effects of continuing 



10-6 



management under existing direction in 
approved management plans. 

OREBODY. A continuous, well-defined mass of 
material containing enough ore to make 
extraction economically feasible. 

PATENTED LAND. A mining claim for which the 
U.S. government has conveyed the fee simple 
interest in the surface and minerals into 
private ownership. 



PERENNIAL STREAM. 

surface flow. 



A stream with year-round 



PERMEABILITY. A qualitative description of the 
ability of material such as rock to transmit 
fluid. Similar to but not the same as hydraulic 
conductivity. 

pH. A measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. 

PLANT COMMUNITY. An assemblage Chara- 
teariest by certain plant species which are 
inconspicuous or unrepresented in other 
assemblages, and wherever areas of 
equivalent environment are encountered, 
whether continuous or detached, essentially 
the same plant assemblage reappears. 



applied to an earthmass or structure. A force 
is included in the calculations for the 
acceleration that would be likely from a 
seismic event. This force increases the forces 
compelling motion of an earthmass or 
structure and results in a lowered factor of 
safety. The greater the safety factor, the more 
stable the structure. A safety factor of less 
than one indicates a structure is unstable. 

PUMPING TEST. A test made by pumping 
groundwater from a well for a period of time 
and observing the change in hydraulic head in 
the aquifer. A pumping test is commonly 
used to determine the yield of the well and the 
hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer. Also 
called aquifer test. 

RAPTOR. A predatory bird, such as an eagle, hawk, 
falcon, owl or vulture. 

REAGENT. A substance used to chemically react 
with another substance to create or maintain a 
desired product or process condition. 

RECLAMATION. Returning disturbed lands to the 
form and productivity that is ecologically 
balanced and in conformity with BLM and/or 
state guidelines or regulations. 



POTABLE WATER. Water suitable for drinking or 
cooking, from both health and aesthetic 
considerations. 

PREDATOR. Any animal that kills and consumes 
another animal. 

PREGNANT SOLUTION. A precious metals- 
bearing cyanide solution which contains 
sufficient quantities of gold that can be sent to 
the precious metal recovery plant to remove 
the gold from the solution. 

PROCESS WATER. Water used in the mill and 
associated facilities during ore processing. 



RECORD OF DECISION. A document separate 
from, but associated with, an environmental 
impact statement which states the decision, 
identifies all alternatives, specifying which 
were environmentally preferable, and states 
whether all practicable means to avoid 
environmental harm from the alternative have 
been adopted, and if not, why not. 

RUN-OF-MINE. Ore which is not crushed prior to 
processing. 

SANDY. Soils which are more than 35 percent, by 
volume, coarser than two mm. with enough 
fines to fill interstices larger that one mm. 



PROPOSED ACTION. A description of the project 
as proposed by the project proponent in the 
mining plan of operations. 

PSEUDOSTATIC SAFETY FACTOR. The 

numerical result of dividing the forces 
resisting movement of an earthmass or 
structure by the forces compelling movement 
of the same. The calculation takes into 
consideration the seismic forces that could be 



SCALED DISTANCE FACTOR. A ratio used to 
estimate and control ground vibrations. As 
commonly used, the scaled distance is the 
distance from the blast to the point of 
concern, divided by the square root of the 
weight of explosives detonated per delay. 
The delay period must be at least eight 
milliseconds. 



10-7 



SCAT. A feces or dropping, especially of a mammal 
or carnivorous bird. 

SCOPING PROCESS. A part of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process; 
early and open activities used to determine the 
scope and significance of the issues and the 
range of actions, alternatives and impacts to 
be considered in an environmental impact 
statement (EIS). 

SEISMIC. Pertaining to an earthquake or earth 
vibration, including those that are artificially 
induced. 

SENSITIVE SPECIES. Plant or animal species 
which are susceptible or vulnerable to activity 
impacts or habitat alterations; a plant or 
animal species recognized as needing special 
management to prevent placement on federal 
or state lists. 

SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. A 

substantial, or potentially substantial, adverse 
change in any of the physical conditions 
within the area affected by the proposed 
action including land, air, water, minerals, 
flora, fauna, ambient noise, the 
socioeconomic environment and objects of 
historic or aesthetic value. 

SLUG TEST. Use of water level measurements taken 
at a single well to calculate water transmission 
and storage where a volume of water has been 
instantaneously added to or removed from the 
well. The calculation of aquifer represent- 
time of the region very close to the well. 

SLURRY. A highly fluid mixture of water and finely 
divided material (e.g., tailings) for movement 
by pipeline. 



SOIL MAPPING UNIT. A kind of soil or 
miscellaneous area or a combination of soils 
or of soil(s) and miscellaneous area(s) that 
can be shown at the scale of mapping for the 
defined purposes and objectives of the survey. 
Soil mapping units are the basis for the 
delineations of a soil survey map, and are 
generally designed to reflect significant 
differences in use and management. 

SOIL STOCKPILE. Location within the mine and 
process area where excavated soils are 
stockpiled for future revegetation purposes. 

STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES. Principles 
specifying conditions or levels of 
environmental quality to be achieved. 

STATIC SAFETY FACTOR. The static safety 
factor is the numerical result of dividing the 
forces resisting movement of an earthmass or 
structure by the forces compelling movement 
of the same. At a safety factor of one, these 
forces are equal. The greater the safety factor, 
the more stable the structure. A safety factor 
of less than one indicates a structure is 
unstable. See PSEUDOSTATIC SAFETY 
FACTOR. 

STEMMING. The material used to fill a blast hole 
from the top of the explosives to the surface. 
The amount of stemming (length of the blast 
hole filled with stemming) is important in the 
confinement of the blast and the control of 
airblast. 

STORAGE COEFFICIENT. The volume of water 
released from storage in each vertical column 
on the aquifer having a base of one foot 
square when the water table or other 
piezometric surface declines one foot. 



SOCIOECONOMIC. Pertaining to, or signifying, 
the characteristics or interaction of social and 
economic factors. 

SOIL HORIZON. A layer of soil or soil material 
approximately parallel to the land surface and 
differing from adjacent, genetically related 
layers in physical, chemical and biological 
properties or characteristics, such as color, 
structure, texture, consistency, kinds and 
numbers of organisms present, degree of 
acidity or alkalinity, etc. 



TAILINGS. Those portions of washed or milled ore 
that are regarded as too poor to be treated 
further, as distinguished from the 
concentrates, or material of value. 

TAKE. Action which results in the killing of an 
animal. 

THREATENED SPECIES. Those plant or animal 
species likely to become endangered species 
throughout all or a significant portion of their 
range within the foreseeable future. 



10- 



TOPOGRAPHY. The configuration of a surface 
including its relief, elevation and the position 
of its natural and human-created features. 

TRANSMISSIVITY. The rate at which water is 
transmitted through a unit width of the aquifer 
under a unit hydraulic gradient. Transfix- 
solvates greater than 100,000 gpd/ft of 
drawdown represent good aquifers. 

UNDERGROUND MINE WORKINGS. The entire 
collection of adits, declines and scoping 
making up an underground mine. 

UNNECESSARY OR UNDUE. In conjunction with 
the degradation of lands, describes activities 
which would cause environmental impacts 
greater than what would normally occur for 
specific activities, or would be necessary to 
conduct specific activities. 

UNPATENTED LAND. A mining claim for which 
the U.S. government has not conveyed the fee 
simple interest in the surface and minerals 
into private ownership; these lands are 
managed by federal governmental agencies, 
such as the BLM, but can be used by private 
parties for mining purposes. 

VEGETATION TYPE. A plant community with 
distinguishable characteristics. 

VISUAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 
(VRMS). A system of managing visual 
resources that establishes visual quality 
objectives and evaluates the capability of 
various landscapes to accept modification or 
alteration. 

VISUAL RESOURCE. The composite of basic 
terrain, geologic features, water features, 
vegetative patterns and land use effects that 
typify a land unit and influence the visual 
appeal the unit may have for visitors. 

WASTE ROCK DUMP. Location within the mine 
and process area where excavated waste rock 
(e.g., rock having no value as ore) is 
stockpiled or permanently disposed. 

WATERS OF THE U.S. A jurisdictional term from 
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act referring 
to water bodies such as lakes, rivers, streams 
(including ephemeral and/or intermittent 
streams, drainages, streambeds, washes, 
water- courses), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands. 



sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa 
lakes or natural ponds. The use. degradation 
or destruction of these waters could affect 
interstate or foreign commerce. 

WETLANDS. Areas that have a predominance of 
hydric soils inundated or saturated by surface 
or ground water at a frequency and duration 
sufficient to support (and under normal 
circumstances do or would support) a 
prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation or 
aquatic life that requires saturated or 
seasonally saturated soil conditions for 
growth and reproduction. 



10-9 



CHAPTER 11 
INDEX OF KEY WORDS 



11.0 INDEX OF KEY WORDS 



Access, 1-15,2-71 5-5,6-3 

Affected Environment, 3-1 

Air Monitoring Stations, 3-65, 3-73 

Air Quality, 1-12, 2-71, 3-65. 4-41, 5-4, 6-2 

Airblast and Flyrock Control, 2-9, 2-74, 4-82 

Alternative Eliminated From Further Study. 2-54 

Alternatives to the Proposed Action, 2-52, 4-107 

Ancillary Facilities, 2-31 

Aquifer Protection Permit (APP), 1-8. 1-12. 2-51,4- 

22 
Arizona Department of Agriculture, 1-8, 1-12 
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), 1- 

13,3-87 
Arizona Game and Fish Department, 1-8, 1-14 
Arizona Native Plant Law, 1-12, 2-69, 3-48, 4-34 
Arizona State Land Department, 1-8, 1-13 
Arizona State Mine Inspector, 1-13, 2-9 
BemaGold, 1-1 
Best Available Demonstrated Control Technologies 

(BADCT), 1-13,4-29 
Biological Resources, 3-41, 4-29, 5-1 
Blasting Procedures, 2-9, 2-74, 4-82 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
Land Use Plan, 1-6, 2-71. 3-77. 4-64 
Regulations and Responsibilities, 1-3. 1-6, 
Climate. 3-65 

Closure and Reclamation, 2-42 
Communications Towers, 3-76, 4-65 
Consequences of the Proposed Action. 4-1 
Consultation and Coordination, 8-1 
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 

Regulations, 1-3, 2-52, 2-77, 8-1 
Cultural Resources, 2-73, 3-80, 4-71,5-4, 6-3 
Cumulative Impacts, 5-1 
Cyanide Management and Use, 1-10, 4-87 
Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), 1-8, 

1-12 
Department of Water Resources (ADWR). 1-8, 1-13 
Drainage and Diversions. 2-38. 4-9 
Drainage and Runoff Control, 2-13, 4-10 
Economic Trends and Conditions, 2-75, 3-96, 4-90 
Electrical Power Supply, 2-31 



Emergency Response, 2-37, 4-87 
Employment and Income, 2-75, 3-98, 4-91 
Environmental Impact Statement 
Process, 1-1 
Scope, 1-3 
Environmental Justice, 2-76. 3-102, 4-106 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1-7, 1-11 
Erosion, 3-12, 4-4 

Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 1 -6 
Fencing and Security, 1-10, 2-37 
Fire Protection, 2-37, 4-87 
Fiscal Conditions, 3-102, 4-100 
Geology, 2-64, 3-5,4-3, 6-1 
Gold Recovery, 2-26, 2-62 
Groundwater, 2-67, 3-25, 4-15 
Haul Roads, 2-7, 2-47 
Hazardous Materials, 2-74, 4-87, 5-5 
Heap Leach Pad, 2-20. 4-8 
Heap Leaching. 2-19 
Historic Mining Disturbance, 1-5, 5-1 1 
Housing, 2-75, 3-100,4-96 
Impact Mitigation. 4-2, 4-7. 4-28, 4-33, 4-38, 4-62, 4- 

66, 4-7 1 . 4-76, 4-82, 4-85, 4-89, 4- 1 06 
Indian Trust Resources, 4-73 
Interdisciplinary Team of EIS preparers, 7-1 
Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of 

Resources, 6-4 
Issues Beyond the Scope of EIS, 1-16 
Key Observation Points (KOPs). 3-80, 4-68 
Land Ownership, 3-76 
Land Use, 3-76, 4-64 
Leak Detection System, 2-24 
Material Handling and Storage, 2-35 
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA), 1- 

12 
Mine Site Study Area (MSA), 3-2 
Mineral Resources, 2-64, 4-3 
Monitoring, 2-50 

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 1-3 
Native American, 3-83, 4-73. 8-2 
No Action Alternative, 2-52, 4-107 
Noise, 2-73, 3-90, 4-76, 5-5, 6-3 



11-1 



Office of Surface Mining (OSM) Blasting 
Regulations. 2-10, 4-82 

Ore Crushing, 2-14 

Outdoor Lighting, 2-31, 4-36 

Past, Present and Reasonably Foreseeable Activities, 
5-1 

Pipeline Corridors, 2-33 

Pit Water Management, 2-12 

Population, 2-75, 3-98, 4-96 

Production Schedule, 2-7 

Project Disturbance, 1 -5 

Property Values. 3-100. 4-96 

Proposed Action Description, 1-3, 2-1 

Proposed Action Location, 1-3, 2-1 

Proposed Action Schedule, 1-5. 2-5, 2-19 

Proposed Action Setting, 1-3, 2-1 

Public Participation, 8-1 

Public Services and Infrastructure, 2-76, 3-101, 4-98 

Purpose and Need, 1-1 

Reagent Handling, 2-30 

Reclamation Planning, 2-48 

Reclamation Requirements, 1-9 

Regulatory Framework, 1 -6 

Residual Effects. 4-2, 4-8, 4-29, 4-34, 4-42, 4-63, 4- 
66, 4-71, 4-73, 4-76, 4-82, 4-86, 4-90, 4-106 

Revegetation. 2-48, 3-19 

Road Closures, 2-11, 4-63, 4-74, 4-83 

Roads in Project Vicinity, 3-86, 4-72 

Scoping, 1-1, 1-14,8-1 

Short-term Uses of Human Environment vs. Long- 
term Productivity, 6-1 

Significant Issues, 1-14 

Socioeconomic Impact Assumptions, 2-75, 4-91, 4-105 

Socioeconomic Study Area, 2-75, 3-92 

Sodium Cyanide, 2-30, 4-87 

Soil Suitability and Salvage, 2-49, 3-19, 4-4 

Soils, 2-64, 3-11, 4-4. 4-105, 4-1 10, 4-1 18. 5-3. 6-1 

Solid Waste Disposal, 2-36 

Springs, 3-21 

State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), 1-13 

Stockpiles, 2-19, 2-36 

Surface Water, 2-65, 3-21,4-8 

Threatened. Endangered and Sensitive Species, 2-70, 
3_48, 3-54, 4-36 

Topography, 2-64, 3-2, 4-2, 5-3, 6-1 



Traffic Conditions, 3-86 

Traffic Control Plan, 2-1 1. 4-74, 4-86 

Transportation, 2-71, 3-85, 4-73, 4-108, 4-117, 5-5 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), 1-1 1 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), 1-11 

U.S. Mining Laws, 1-9 

Unavoidable Adverse Impacts, 6-1 

Unnecessary or Undue Degradation, 1-1, 1-9 

Use and Occupancy Regulations, 1-10 

Vegetation, 2-69, 3-41, 4-29, 4-107, 4-1 13. 4-1 18. 6-2 

Visibility, 2-71,3-75,4-66 

Visual Resource Management System (VRMS), 3-79 

Visual Resources, 2-72, 3-78, 4-66, 4-106, 4-114, 4- 

117,5-5,6-3 
Waste Rock Dumps, 2-12 
Water Resources Study Area (WRSA), 3-2, 3-21 
Water Rights and Use, 3-25, 4-1 1 
Water Supply, 2-35, 2-66 
Water Supply Wells, 2-66, 4-10, 4-15. 4-19, 4-26 
Waters of the U.S., 1 - 1 1 , 2-68, 3-40, 4-26 
Wetlands, 2-69, 3-47. 3-53 

Wildlife, 2-70, 3-48, 4-34, 4-107, 4-113, 4-119, 6-2 
Wildlife Habitat. 2-70, 3-50, 4-34, 4-107. 4-113, 4- 

119,6-2 
Yarnell Mining Company (YMC), 1-1 
Yavapai County, 1-14, 3-77, 4-64 
Yavapai County Land Use Plan, 3-77, 4-64 



11-2 



APPENDIX A 

AQUIFER TEST RESULTS 



PQ ^ 



Estimated 
Long-term Yield 


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A- 1 



APPENDIX B 



GROUNDWATER ELEVATION DATA 



TABLE B-l 
Groundwater Elevation Data 



Well 

Identification 


Measuring Point* 
Elevation (ft) 


Date 
Measured 


Depth to 
Groundwater (ft) 


Water Levels- 
Elevation (ft) 




4594.75 


4/13/95 


14.53 


4580.22 




4594.75 


5/22/95 


0.54 


4594.21 




4594.75 


6/29/95 


15.10 


4579.65 




4594.75 


7/17/95 


14.95 


4579.80 




4594.75 


8/14/95 


14.80 


4579.95 




4594.75 


9/19-20/95 


14.90 


4579.85 




4594.75 


3/15/96 


14.75 


4580.00 


YMC-01 


4594.75 
4594.75 


3/30/96 
4/15/96 


14.93 
14.96 


4579.82 
4579.79 




4594.75 


1/30/97 


14.72 


4580.00 




4594.75 


4/30/97 


15.18 


4579.60 




4594.75 


7/30/97 


17.04 


4577.70 




4594.75 


10/30/97 


15.40 


4579.40 




4594.75 


1/12/98 


14.28 


4580.47 




4594.75 


2/11/98 


13.49 


4581.26 




4594.75 


3/19/98 


14.75 


4580.00 




4597.11 


4/13/95 


4.21 


4592.90 




4597.11 


5/22/95 


7.10 


4590.01 




4597.11 


6/29/95 


14.25 


4582.86 




4597.11 


7/17/95 


13.15 


4583.96 




4597.11 


8/14/95 


15.47 


4581.64 




4597.11 


9/19-20/95 


15.90 


4581.21 




4597.11 


3/14/96 


19.27 


4577.84 


YMC-02 


4597.11 


3/30/96 


18.90 


4578.21 




4597.11 


4/15/96 


19.23 


4577.88 




4597.11 


1/30/97 


24.85 


4572.26 




4597.11 


4/30/97 


20.92 


4576.20 




4597.11 


7/30/97 


24.99 


4572.10 




4597.11 


10/30/97 


21.77 


4575.30 




4597.11 


1/12/98 


18.93 


4578.18 




4597.11 


2/11/98 


15.26 


4581.85 



B-I 



TABLE B-l (Continued) 
Groundwater Elevation Data 



Well 
Identification 


Measuring Point* 
Elevation (ft) 


Date 
Measured 


Depth to 
Groundwater (ft) 


Water Level* 
Elevation (ft) 




4647.75 


4/13/95 


40.17 


4607.58 




4647.75 


5/22/95 


44.00 


4603.75 




4647.75 


6/29/95 


50.45 


4597.30 




4647.75 


7/17/95 


54.20 


4593.55 




4647.75 


8/14/95 


58.20 


4589.55 




4647.75 


9/19-20/95 


61.25 


4586.50 




4647.75 


3/15/96 


71.96 


4575.79 


YMC-03 


4647.75 


3/30/96 


72.64 


4575.11 




4647.75 


4/15/96 


73.26 


4574.49 




4647.75 


1/30/97 


81.97 


4565.78 




4647.75 


4/30/97 


83.37 


4564.40 




4647.75 


7/30/97 


83.41 


4564.30 




4647.75 


10/30/97 


83.50 


4564.30 




4647.75 


1/12/98 


83.45 


4564.30 




4647.75 


2/1 1/98 


82.71 


4565.04 




4687.83 


4/13/95 


20.50 


4667.33 




4687.83 


5/22/95 


27.52 


4660.31 




4687.83 


6/29/95 


31.35 


4656.48 




4687.83 


7/17/95 


33.05 


4654.78 




4687.83 


8/14/95 


34.65 


4653.18 




4687.83 


9/19-20/95 


35.75 


4652.08 




4687.83 


3/15/96 


39.55 


4648.28 


YMC-04 


4687.83 


3/30/96 


40.15 


4647.68 




4687.83 


4/3/96 


40.33 


4647.50 




4687.83 


1/30/97 


48.95 


4638.88 




4687.83 


4/30/97 


49.94 


4637.90 




4687.83 


7/30/97 


52.05 


4635.80 




4687.83 


10/30/97 


51.68 


4636.20 




4687.83 


1/12/98 


51.87 


4635.96 




4687.83 


2/11/98 


48.61 


4639.22 




4687.83 


3/19/98 


33.44 


4654.39 




4060.00 


3/20/96 


19.31 


4040.69 


TW-1 


4060.00 
4060.00 


7/3/96 
10/2/96 


23.14 
24.67 


4036.86 
4035.33 




4060.00 


12/16/96 


24.38 


4035.62 



B-2 



Well 
Identification 


Measuring Point* 
Elevation (ft) 


Date 
Measured 


Depth to 
Groundwater (ft) 


Water Level* 
Elevation (ft) 


TW-2 


4065.00 
4065.00 
4065.00 


3/15/96 
3/30/96 
4/15/96 


43.01 

43.37 
43.47 


4021.99 
4021.63 
4021.53 


TW-3 


3920.00 
3920.00 
3920.00 


3/15/96 
3/30/96 
4/15/96 


18.01 
17.78 
17.61 


3901.99 
3902.22 
3902.39 


WILHITE 


4765.00 
4765.00 
4765.00 


3/30/96 
4/15/96 
5/1/96 


11.98 
12.39 
12.82 


4753.02 
4752.61 
4752.18 


ANDERSON 


4860.00 
4860.00 


3/30/96 
4/15/96 


19.57 
19.64 


4840.43 
4840.36 


WASSON 


4770.00 
4770.00 


3/30/96 
4/15/96 


23.94 
24.09 


4746.06 
4745.91 


UPPER GLEN ILAH 


4925.00 
4925.00 


3/30/96 
4/15/96 


19.67 
19.82 


4905.33 
4905.18 


SUL 


3845.00 
3845.00 
3845.00 


3/15/96 
3/30/96 
4/17/96 


15.79 
16.37 
20.97 


3829.21 
3828.63 
3824.03 


MICHAEL (active) 


3790.00 
3790.00 


3/15/96 
4/17/96 


48.73 
49.00 


3741.27 
3741.00 


MICHAEL (inactive) 


3798.00 
3798.00 


3/15/96 
4/17/96 


57.23 
57.39 


3740.77 
3740.61 


STOCK 


4860.00 
4860.00 


3/12/96 
4/17/96 


22.87 
22.37 


4837.13 
4837.63 


WHITE SHED 


3660.00 


4/15/96 


53.98 


3606.02 


RICH HILL CLAIM 


3570.00 


4/15/96 


47.74 


3522.26 


STANTON 
WINDMILL 


3460.00 


4/15/96 


35.55 


3424.45 


SPRING 


4440.00 


4/15/96 


6.48 


4433.52 


PARKER 
WINDMILL 


3300.00 


4/16/96 


96.69 


3203.31 


PARKER 


3200.00 


4/17/96 


468.79 


2731.21 


OLD CITY WATER 


4830.00 


4/17/96 


9.31 


4820.69 


HARVEY 


4833.00 


4/18/96 


12.89 


4820.11 


ALVARADO MINE 


3370.00 


4/16/96 


0.00 


3370.00 


ADIT 


3610.00 


4/16/96 


10.00 


3600.00 



* Elevation in feet above mean sea level. 



B-3 



APPENDIX C 

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C-4 



TABLE C-5 
Analytical Results for Springs Sampled in March 1996 



Parameter 


Sampling location 








Fools 












(milligrams per liter) 


Antelope 


Juniper 


Yarnell 


Gulch 


Cottonwood 


Cox 


Cox 


White 


Bovine 




Spring 


Spring 


Spring 


Spring 


Spring 


Spring 


Spring* 


Spring 


Spring 


Calcium 


61.3 


48.2 


48.8 


110 


110 


89.6 


88.4 


51.4 


83.9 


Magnesium 


41.8 


43.7 


41.3 


32.1 


16.7 


32.0 


31.6 


15.8 


37.1 


Potassium 


4.3 


2.1 


1.9 


-1.0 


-1.0 


2.9 


1.9 


1.3 


1.7 


Sodium 


22.4 


9.0 


9.4 


74.4 


37.0 


55.7 


55.6 


20.8 


28.6 


Carbonate (CaCO,) 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


Bicarbonate (as HCO,) 


395.0 


336.4 


337.7 


445 


295.0 


436.4 


427.9 


204.8 


454.7 


Hydroxide (CaCO,) 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


Total alkalinity (CaCO,) 


324 


276 


277 


365 


242 


358 


351 


168 


373 


Chloride 


15 


10.2 


7.3 


59 


31 


39 


39 


16 


17 


Fluoride 


0.40 


0.24 


0.18 


1.24 


0.73 


0.51 


0.52 


2.49 


0.35 


Sulfate 


5 


8 


6 


76 


95 


23 


24 


25 


8 


Nitrate (as N) 


-0.06 


1.09 


-0.06 


-0.06 


0.09 


-0.06 


-0.06 


-0.06 


-0.06 


Cyanide (total) 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.01 


Total suspended solids 


— 




... 


-10 


— 




... 


... 


... 


Total dissolved solids 


430 


360 


340 


630# 


490 


500 


500 


260 


460 


Conductivity (lab) 


585 


407 


486 


924 


681 


750 


747 


409 


675 


(umhos/cm) 




















pH (lab) 


8.3 


8.0 


8.4 


8.1 


7.7 


7.6 


7.6 


7.6 


7.9 


Antimony 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


Arsenic 


0.003 


-0.003 


-0.003 


-0.003 


0.004 


0.012 


0.010 


-0.003 


0.003 


Barium 


0.011 


0.013 


-0.010 


0.084 


0.080 


0.029 


0.028 


0.046 


0.042 


Beryllium 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


Cadmium 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


Chromium (total) 


0.019 


0.021 


0.020 


0.012 


-0.010 


0.017 


0.017 


-0.010 


0.019 


Copper 


0.013 


-0.010 


0.011 


0.013 


0.020 


0.016 


0.016 


0.013 


0.015 


Iron 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


0.116 


0.096 


0.097 


-0.050 


-0.050 


Lead 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


Manganese 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


0.047 


0.553# 


0.1 37# 


0.136# 


0.013 


0.424# 


Mercury 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


Nickel 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


Selenium 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


Silver 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


Thallium 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


Zinc 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


Sample date 


03-1 1-96 


03 1 ^-96 


03-13-96 


03-26-96 


03-13-96 


03-13-96 


03-13-96 


03-1 <-9h 


03-13-96 



NA = Not analyzed 

Note: A negative sign indicates a result is below detectable limits. Numerical value is detection limit. 

* Designates duplicate sample. 

# Concentration exceeds drinking water standard or secondary maximum contaminant level 
Milligram = One thousandth of a gram. 

CaCO, = Calcium Carbonate 

N = Nitrogen 

umhos/cm = Micromhos per centimeter, a measure of electrical conductivity. A mho is the reciprocal ohm. Micro = one millionth. 



C-5 



TABLE C-6 
Analytical Results for Creeks Sampled in March/April 1996 



Parameter 
(milligrams per liter) 


Sampling location 


Lower Antelope 
Creek 


Upper Antelope 
Creek 


East Antelope 
Creek 


Yarnell Creek 


Calcium 
Magnesium 
Potassium 
Sodium 


51.6 
46.6 
1.9 

25.4 


48.2 
44.1 
2.9 
12.6 


55.2 
41.2 
2.1 

23.3 


56.6 
48.7 
-1.0 
94.1 


Carbonate (CaC0 3 ) 
Bicarbonate (as HC0 3 ) 
Hydroxide (CaC0 3 ) 
Total alkalinity (CaC0 3 ) 


-1 

374 
-1 
307 


-1 

362 
-1 

297 


6 

355 
-1 
297 


-1 

456 
-1 

374 


Chloride 
Fluoride 
Sulfate 
Nitrate (as N) 


16 

0.44 

15 

-0.06 


8.4 
0.25 

9 
0.07 


15 
0.50 

9 
-0.06 


47 
0.78 

64 
-0.06 


Cyanide (total) 
Total suspended solids 
Total dissolved solids 
Conductivity (lab) (umhos/cm) 
pH (lab) 


-0.01 

390 
581 
8.3 


-0.01 
-10 
370 
537 
8.3 


-0.01 

360 

535 
8.4 


-0.01 
-10 
570 
890 

8.2 


Antimony 

Arsenic 

Barium 

Beryllium 

Cadmium 


-0.005 
0.004 
0.041 
-0.004 
-0.0005 


-0.005 
-0.003 
-0.010 
-0.004 
-0.0005 


-0.005 
-0.003 
0.117 
-0.004 
-0.0005 


-0.005 
-0.003 
0.058 
-0.004 
-0.0005 


Chromium (total) 

Copper 

Iron 

Lead 

Manganese 


0.021 
0.012 
-0.050 
-0.002 
-0.010 


0.028 
-0.010 
-0.050 
-0.002 
-0.010 


0.020 
0.012 
-0.050 
-0.002 
-0.010 


0.039 
-0.010 
-0.050 
-0.002 
-0.010 


Mercury 

Nickel 

Selenium 

Silver 

Thallium 

Zinc 


-0.0002 
-0.020 
-0.005 
-0.010 
-0.002 
-0.050 


-0.0002 
-0.020 
-0.005 
-0.010 
-0.002 
-0.050 


-0.0002 
-0.020 
-0.005 
-0.010 
-0.002 
-0.050 


-0.0002 
-0.020 
-0.005 
-0.010 
-0.005 
-0.050 


Sample date 


03-13-96 


03-26-96 


03-13-96 


04-19-96 



NA = Not analyzed 

Note: A negative sign indicates a result is below detectable limits. Numerical value is detection limit. 

* Designates duplicate sample. 

# Concentration exceeds drinking water standard or secondary maximum contaminant level 
Milligram = One thousandth of a gram. 

CaCO, = Calcium Carbonate 

N = Nitrogen 

umhos/cm = Micromhos per centimeter, a measure of electrical conductivity. A mho is the reciprocal ohm. Micro = one millionth. 



C-6 



TABLE C-7 

Water Quality Results for Water Resource Study Area 

Wells Sampled in April 1996 



Parameter 






Well sampl 


ng location 


















(milligrams per liter) 


AWQS* 


TW-1 


Sul 


Michael 


Wilhite 


Harvev 


Calcium 




87.2 


107 


82.1 


170 


97.4 


Magnesium 




20.2 


31.0 


57.5 


27.9 


19.2 


Potassium 




2.1 


1.5 


1.8 


1.6 


-1.0 


Sodium 




49.2 


49.0 


110 


84.8 


40.0 


Carbonate (CaCO,) 




-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


Bicarbonate (as HCO,) 




353 


445 


524 


391 


268 


Hydroxide (CaCO,) 




-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


-1 


Total alkalinity (CaCO,) 




290 


365 


430 


321 


220 


Chloride 


[250] 


34 


30 


100 


210 


75 


Fluoride 


4.0 


1.07 


2.35# 


0.86 


1.08 


0.58 


Sulfate 


[250] 


63 


86 


33 


80 


64 


Nitrate (as N) 


10.0 


0.11 


0.28 


13 


0.12 


3.4 


Physical cyanide (total) 


0.2 


-0.01 


-0.01 


-0.1 


-0.01 


-0.01 


Total suspended solids 




... 


... 


... 


... 


._ 


Total dissolved solids 


[500] 


490 


590# 


730# 


870# 


490 


Conductivity (lab) (umhos/cm) 




716 


864 


1150 


1310 


749 


pH(lab) 


[6.5 - 8.5] 


7.5 


7.2 


7.6 


7.2 


7.5 


Antimony 


0.006 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


Arsenic 


0.05 


-0.003 


-0.003 


-0.003 


-0.003 


-0.003 


Barium 


2.0 


0.052 


0.039 


0.018 


0.128 


0.103 


Beryllium 


0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


-0.004 


Cadmium 


0.005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


-0.0005 


Chromium (total) 


0.1 


0.016 


0.021 


0.043 


0.031 


0.023 


Copper 


[1.0] 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


Iron 


[0.3] 


0.075 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


-0.050 


Lead 


0.05 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


Manganese 


[0.05] 


0.05 1# 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


Mercury 


0.002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.0002 


-0.002 


Nickel 


0.1 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


-0.020 


Selenium 


0.05 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


Silver 


[0.1] 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


-0.010 


Thallium 


0.002 


-0.002 


-0.002 


-0.005 


-0.005 


-0.005 


Zinc 


[5.01 


0.253 


0.048 


0.050 


0.066 


-(1.050 


Sample date 




04-02-96 


04-02-96 


04-19-96 


04-lM-Mh 


04-19-% 



NA = Not analyzed 

Note: A negative sign indicates a result is below detectable limits. Numerical value is detection limit. 

* Aquifer water quality standards; numbers in brackets are federal secondary water quality standards. 

# Concentration exceeds drinking water standard or secondary maximum contaminant level 
Milligram = One thousandth of a gram. 

CaCO, = Calcium Carbonate 
N = Nitrogen 

umhos/cm = Micromhos per centimeter, a measure of electrical conductivity. A mho is the reciprocal ohm. Micro : 
millionth. 



C-7 



APPENDIX D 



GEOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS 



APPENDIX D 

GEOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF 
EXISTING MILL TAILINGS AND WASTE ROCK 



The geochemical characterization for the proposed Yarnell Project included an evaluation of 
historic mill tailings (deposited from 1936 to 1943) and an investigation of the rock types found within the 
area of the proposed mine pit. A detailed study of the geochemical characteristics of the ore, waste rock and 
mine pit walls was conducted by Shepherd Miller, Inc. (1995) in accordance with ADEQ's BADCT and 
BLM guidance documents. A plan for geochemical characterization was approved by ADEQ prior to 
sampling and testing. A second stage of tailings sampling was conducted by YMC in December 1996, and 
geochemical results were evaluated by Shepherd Miller, Inc. (July 1997). The results of the study were 
submitted to ADEQ as a supporting technical document as part of the Aquifer Protection Permit application. 



Materials tested for the geochemical analysis included: 

♦ Existing mill tailings piles - collection of three grab samples (surface) from fresh pits 
excavated in the upper tailings terrace (above the gully ) and the southwest and northwest ends 
of the lower tailings terrace. Samples were collected from seven backhole pits. One bulk 
sample from the bottom of each trench and one composite sample from each trench were 
collected. One trench, in the crushed ore pile area, was excavated into tailings and tailings 
samples (not crushed ore) collected. Two trenches were in the upper tailings terrace, and four 
trenches were in the lower tailings terrace. 

♦ Mine rock - selection of 42 representative drill core samples from two sample events (nine 
samples collected during the initial sampling event and 33 samples during an additional 
sampling event reflected in Table 4-2). 



A map showing the core locations and the existing tailings pile sample sites is presented as Figure 



D-l. 



The core sampling program was designed to obtain samples representative of the major structural, 
alteration and mineralization zones in the proposed mine. Specifically, samples were selected based on the 
variations of: weathering, alteration, oxidation/reduction state (reduced), mineralogy, depth and structural 
position (hanging wall, foot wall, ore zone) of the mineable materials. In addition, samples were selected 
to obtain a reasonably representative proportion of the rock types that will be excavated or exposed during 
mining (see Table D-l ). 

The geochemical testing program for the proposed mineable materials consisted of static predicati ve 
testing for acid-producing potential on 4 1 samples and batch leach testing on 1 2 samples. Static testing was 
also conducted on all three of the existing mill tailings samples, and batch testing was conducted on one of 
the tailings samples. In addition, the three existing tailings samples were analyzed for residual cyanide 
content. 



D-l 




D-2 



TABLE D-l 
Drill Core - Geochemical Sample Distribution Summary 



SAMPLE DESCRIPTION 


STRUCTURAL ZONE 1 


Hanging Wall 


Ore Zone 


Foot Wall 


Totals 


Alteration 

Propylitic 

Sericitic 

Potassic 


10 

7 

7 



4 

1 


6 

7 



16 
18 
8 


Totals 


24 


5 


13 


42 


Mineralogy and Physical Description 2 

Iron oxide 
Pyrite 

Weathered 
Broken rock 

Reduced 


5 
3 
3 
1 



6 


4 



4 

2 



5 
3 


- 



Approximately 80 percent of the mined rock is expected to be hanging wall material, 5 percent ore zone material and 
15 percent foot wall material. 

2 Mineralogical and physical types may coexist in combination(s), may not be present or may not be identifiable in 
association with a specific altered rock type and are. therefore, not directly applicable to the total number of altered 
samples collected. 



An explanation of the analytical testing procedures used for sample characterization is presented 



below. 



Static Predicative Testing for Acid Producing Potential. Some types of waste rock, leached ore or 
fresh ore can acidify contacting water when exposed to the atmosphere and/or groundwater. This ability is 
characterized as a rock's "acid potential." Generally, rock with a high acid potential contains minerals which 
can react with water and atmospheric oxygen to produce sulfuric acid. The generated acid may then leach 
potentially toxic metals and other constituents from these materials. Other waste rock, leached ore or fresh 
ore may be acid-neutralizing under the same conditions. This is a rock's "neutralization potential." Waste 
rock materials with low acid potential and high neutralizing potential are generally environmentally benign. 
A high potential for production of acidic materials would be considered a significant effect. 

Static test procedures include the measurement of the percentage of total sulfur, acid- generating 
potential (AGP) and acid-neutralization potential (ANP) of the sample. Specifically, these "acid-base" 
accounting methods estimate the amount of acid that could possibly be generated by weathering of sulfide 
minerals in the sample and the amount of acid that can be neutralized by other minerals in the sample. By 
convention, both AGP and ANP are reported in units of tons CaCO 3 /l,000 tons rock. The results of this 
analysis are presented as a ratio of the ANP to AGP. A ratio greater than one indicates that, based solely on 
the quantity of minerals in the sample, there is a net potential to neutralize acid and, therefore, acidic runoff 
conditions would not be expected. 

Because the rate of acid production and neutralization reactions is not considered in static testing, 
results are interpreted conservatively by comparing the AGP and the ANP. This evaluation, consistent with 
ADEQ and BLM guidance, uses two comparisons. First, one may look at the ratio of ANP to AGP; the 
greater this ratio, the more likely it is that the neutralization potential of the rock can neutralize any acidity 
that may be generated. Second, the net neutralization potential (NNP) may be defined as the difference 
between the ANP and the AGP (i.e., ANP-AGP). A positive value indicates that the ANP is greater than the 
AGP and the greater the absolute difference, the more likely it is that the neutralization potential of the rock 
can neutralize any acidity that may be generated. An ANP: AGP ratio of about three is generally accepted 



D-3 



as a conservative indication that net acid generation will not occur. This is especially true in arid 
environments. The BLM criteria for non-acid-generating materials is an ANP:AGP ratio of three or more 
and a net neutralization potential greater than 20. 

EPA Method 1312 Batch Leach Testine for Determination of Metals Leachabilitv. This method 
simulates the leaching of ore and waste rock by rainwater. Metals evaluated by this procedure include 
arsenic, antimony, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, mercury, manganese, 
selenium, silver and zinc. Other parameters tested include specific conductivity, total dissolved solids, 
sulfate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Test results are compared to ADEQ groundwater 
quality standards to determine if metals leaching from ore, waste rock or existing mill tailings have the 
potential to affect groundwater quality. 

Analysis of Residual Cyanide Content. Previous milling activities may have included the use of 
cyanide in the gold extraction process. An analysis of total cyanide content was conducted on the seven 
samples collected from the existing tailings piles. The test was conducted to determine if cyanide is present 
in measurable concentrations and included measurement of total cyanide and free cyanide concentrations. 

Cyanide is a general chemical term for compounds containing carbon bound to nitrogen (CN). 
Cyanidation, the use of solutions containing dissolved cyanide, has been used to extract gold from ores since 
1 898. Under most conditions, gold is very insoluble, so it is difficult to separate from ores. However, under 
oxidizing conditions, gold reacts with cyanide in solution to form gold-cyanide complexes that increase the 
solubility of gold, allowing the gold to be recovered in economic quantities. In the metallurgical process, 
a cyanide solution is formed by dissolving a solid cyanide compound, such as sodium cyanide (NaCN), in 
water. When sodium cyanide dissolves into solution, ions of sodium (Na + ) and cyanide (CN) exist in the 
solution; these may react with other ions or molecules to form more complicated chemical species called 
"complexes." These chemical complexes include molecules of cyanide with gold, but also of cyanide with 
other elements. 

The forms of cyanide most often discussed with respect to monitoring and compliance include "free 
cyanide" and "total cyanide." "Free cyanide" includes molecular hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and its aqueous 
ion (CN). Based on extensive toxicological investigations, these forms are considered by the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, ADEQ and most other authorities to have the greatest potential toxicity. 
"Total cyanide" is an analytical term that refers to the cyanide concentration that is calculated for a 
compound or solution when the matter is (a) treated with a strong acid in the presence of a catalyst to make 
the reactions proceed quickly and (b) all the cyanide is converted to volatile HCN gas and collected during 
distillation. The "total cyanide" concentration includes, of course, all "free cyanide," but it also includes all 
the cyanide that was combined ("complexed") with other chemical elements in less soluble (and less toxic) 
forms. The most common forms for insoluble cyanides are as complexes and compounds of iron and 
cyanide. The "total cyanide" concentrations always should be as high or higher than the "free cyanide" 
concentration. In samples of old tailings, "free cyanide" is usually low or absent, but "total cyanide," 
representing insoluble iron-cyanide compounds, often is observed at concentrations of a few parts per million 
(mg/kg) for years or decades after mineral processing occurred. Such tailings samples typically cannot leach 
cyanide into surface or groundwaters at detectable levels (or the "total cyanide" would already be gone) and 
the demonstration that "free cyanide" is not detectable indicates that such old tailings are not significantly 
toxic due to cyanide compounds. 

Results of the Geochemical Evaluation forExistine Mill Tailings. The geochemical characterization 
test results for the existing mill tailings are presented in Table D-2 and summarized below. 



D-4 



Existing Tailings 



TABLE D-2 

■ Static and Batch Test Results 



Area 


Sample 

No/" 


Total 
Sulfur 

(%) 


AN p<2) 

(tons 
CaCOykT) 


ANPiAGP* 3 ' 


Total 
Cyanide 

<mg/kg) 


Free 
Cyanide 

(mg/1) 


Leached Metals' 4 ' 


Leached 

Ore 
(tailings) 


IB 
1C 


0.71 
1.03 


1.8 
<0.1 


0.8 
<0.20 


<0.01 
<0.02 


NA 
NA 


Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, 
Mg. Mn. Ni, Zn 
Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, 

Mn. Mg. Zn 


Upper 
Tailings 
Terrace 


2B 

7C 
UT1 


0.03 
0.06 
0.02 


8.4 

48.5 

3.9 


10.5 

44.1 

6.5 


0.41 

NA 
NA 


NA 
NA 
NA 


As 

NA 


Lower 
Tailings 
Terrace 


3B 
4B 
5C 

6B 
LT1 

LT2 


0.04 
0.04 
0.41 

0.19 

0.06 

<0.01 


<0.1 

12.8 

1.8 

0.8 
2.5 
1.0 


<0.13 
12.8 
0.4 

0.5 
1.3 


0.38 

NA 

<0.02 

NA 
<0.05 

1.7 


NA 
NA 
NA 

NA 
<0.02 

<0.02 


As, Cu, Fe 

NA 

Ba. Cd, Fe, Pb, 

Mg, Mn, Zn 

NA 

Ba,Zn 



Samples LT1 , LT2 and UT1 are surface samples collected in 1 991 . The remaining samples are backhoe trenches sampled 
in December 1996. with B indicating bottom sample, and C indicating a composite sample. 

<2) Acid neutralization potential in equivalent tons of calcium carbonate per 1,000 tons of material. 

<3) Acid generation potential calculated from total sulfur. 

141 Only those metals with concentrations at or above the laboratory detection limits are listed. 

NA = Not Available 



♦ Total Sulfur. The concentration of total sulfur detected within the existing mill tailings 
ranged from 1.03 percent to below detection limits. 

♦ Acid Neutralization Potential (ANP). ANP values range from <0. 1 to 48.5 tons equivalent 
calcium carbonate per 1.000 tons of material (CaCO,/kT). 

♦ ANP: AGP. ANP: AGP ratios range from <0. 1 3 to 44. 1 . Six samples showed an ANP: AGP 
of less than three. 

♦ Batch Leach Test Results. A limited suite of metals including arsenic, barium, cadmium, 
chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, silver and zinc was analyzed using EPA Method 
1312. The batch leach tests indicate the presence of arsenic, barium, cadmium, copper, iron, 
lead, manganese, magnesium nickel and zinc. Concentrations meet ADEQ groundwater 
standards except for the secondary standards for copper in one sample, manganese in three 
samples and zinc in two samples. Cadmium concentration exceeded the groundwater 
standard in one sample. Two samples exceeded the ADEQ groundwater secondary 
standards for total dissolved solids and sulfate. Of the 1 2 exceedances of the groundwater 
standards, 10 were from the bottom and composite sample of Hole 1 in the leached ore area 
of the tailings. The other two exceedances were from Hole 5 in the lower tailings terrace. 

♦ Cyanide Analysis. Residual cyanide analysis indicated measurable concentrations of total 
cyanide ranging from 1 .7 mg/kg to below detection limits. The presence of free cyanide was 
not measurable above laboratory detection limits. These results are consistent with 
observations in many old mining districts and indicate that the most toxic "free cyanide" 
concentrations are negligible in the old tailings at the Yarnell site. 



D-5 



The geochemical test results indicate that the existing mill tailings are not likely to promote the 
degradation of groundwater or surface water resources. The proposed Yarnell Project would bury the 
existing mill tailings (and the area of surface disturbance from previous mining) within the NWRD. The 
tailings and other historic disturbances would be removed from the erosional and leaching effects of surface 
water. 

Results of the Geochemical Evaluation on Waste Rock and Ore Samples. The geochemical 
characterization test results from the ore and waste rock core samples are listed in Table D-3 and summarized 
below. 

♦ Total Sulfur. Total sulfur was measured above laboratory detection limits in only 1 2 of the 
41 core samples analyzed. Overall, the values for the 12 samples containing detectable 
sulfur are very low, with eight samples at 0.01 percent and the remaining four samples 
ranging from 0.02 to 0.04 percent. 

Analytical results showed less than 0.01 percent total sulfur (below detection limits) in 29 
of the 41 samples analyzed. The mean AGP is conservatively estimated to be about 0.35 
tons CaC0 3 /kT. When all 41 samples are considered, detection limits are equivalent to 0.01 
percent total sulfur or an AGP value of 0.3 tons CaC0 3 /kT. 

♦ Acid Neutralization Potential (ANP). Acid neutralization potential values range from 
approximately three to 139 CaCOykT. The mean net ANP for all 41 samples is 
conservatively estimated at approximately eight CaC0 3 /kT. 

♦ ANP: AGP. The ANP: AGP ratio for all of the samples range from 6.7 to 126.4. Acid 
generation potential (AGP) values (measured as total sulfur) ranged from less than 0.3 to 1.1 
CaC0 3 /kT. These values represent extremely low levels of acid generation potential. Most 
of the core samples show low (less than 10 tons CaC0 3 /kT) to moderate (10 to 30 tons 
CaC0 3 /kT) acid-neutralization potentials (ANP). This range of ANP values is characteristic 
of granitic rocks that do not have secondary carbonates in abundance. These levels indicate 
a consistent capacity of the granitic host rocks to neutralize small amounts of acidity, should 
it be generated. 

♦ Batch Leach Test Results. Table D-4 shows the range of concentration of metals above 
detection limits from the batch leach test results. Batch leach test results indicate that metals 
concentrations meet ADEQ Water Quality Standards (WQS) for all parameters, except for 
antimony in two samples. Secondary water quality standards (derived from EPA Drinking 
Water Standards) are exceeded for iron in two samples and manganese in one sample (Table 
D-5). The leach test extract also shows relatively low total dissolved solids (TDS) values 
(28 to 55 mg/1) and sulfate concentrations were not observed above detection limits. 



D-6 



TABLE D-3 
Drill Core Sample - Static and Batch Test Results 



Core 
Location 


Depth (ft) and 

Structural 

Zone 1 


Total 
Sulfur 

(%) 


AGP 2 
(CaCO,/kT) 


ANP 3 

(CaCO,/kT) 


ANP:AG 
P 


Leached 
Metals 4 




10-15 


HW 


0.04 


1.1 


139.0 


126.4 


As, Ba. Fe, Mn, Zn 




50-55 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


4.4 


>14.7 




YMD4/ 


140-145 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


3.0 


>10.0 




YDDH-7 


150-155 


OZ 


<0.01 


<0.3 


3.3 


>11.0 






160-165 


FW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


5.9 


>19.0 






180-185 


FW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


12.0 


>40.0 


As.Ba.Fe.Zn 




10-15 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


6.6 


>22.0 






40-45 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


6.3 


>21.0 


Ba,Fe, Mn, Hg, Zn 


YDDH-5 


75-80 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


6.8 


>22.7 






85-90 


OZ 


<0.01 


<0.3 


7.7 


>25.7 


Sb.As.Ba.Fe.Mn.Zn 




90-95 


FW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


6.3 


>21.0 


Sb,As.Ba„Fe,PbMn 




140-145 


FW 


<0.01 




" 


-- 


Zn 




20-25 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


5.2 


>17.3 






120-125 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


9.2 


>30.7 




YMD2 


225-230 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


3.0 


>10.0 






295-300 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


6.1 


>20.3 


As,Ba,Fe,Mn,Zn 




310-315 


OZ 


0.02 


0.5 


5.4 


10.8 


As.Ba.Fe.Mn.Zn 




320-325 


FW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


5.0 


>16.7 






375-380 


FW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


6.8 


>22.7 






15-20 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


9.6 


>32.0 






95-100 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


7.6 


>25.3 


Ba,Fe. Mn, Ni.Zn 


YMD3 


130-135 


HW 


<0.01 


<0.3 


5.9 


>19.7 






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8.0 


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100-105 


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11.6 


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16.5 


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145-150 


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5.7 


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0.3 


13.3 


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2.7 


9.0 






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>28.3 






190-195 


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0.01 


0.4 


9.2 


23.0 




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5.5 


18.3 




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0.9 


6.0 


6.7 


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0.3 


2.7 


9.0 






270-275 


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<0.3 


5.7 


>19.0 






287-290 


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0.3 


4.5 


15.0 






290-292 


FW 


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0.3 


25.2 


84.0 


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292-295 


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<0.01 


<0.3 


21.6 


>72.0 




310-315 


FW 


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<0.3 


13.4 


>44.7 





1 Structural zones: HW - hanging wall. OZ - ore zone, FW - foot wall. 

2 Acid generation potential calculated from total sulfur. 

3 Acid neutralizing potential in equivalent tons of calcium carbonate. 

4 Only those metals with concentrations observed above the laboratory analytical detection are listed. 



D-7 



TABLE D-4 

Batch Leach Test Results (EPA Method 1312) 

Range of Metals Concentrations Above Detection Limits 



Parameter 


Concentration Range (mg/1) 


WQS* 


Antimony 


0.005 to 0.020 


0.006 


Arsenic 


0.05 to 0.035 


0.05 


Barium 


0.004 to 0.050 


2.0 


Iron 


0.06 to 1.15 


[0.3] 


Lead 


0.003 to <0.05 


0.05 


Manganese 


0.001 to 0.09 


[0.05] 


Mercury 


0.0002 to 0.0005 


0.002 


Nickel 


<0.005 to 0.006 


0.1 


Zinc 


0.016 to 0.060 


[5.0] 



ADEQ ground water quality standards, secondary standards are shown in brackets. 



TABLE D-5 
Batch Leach Tests Results 



Parameter (mg/1) 


Sample and Depth (ft) 


WQS 1 


YDDH-1 


YDDH-5 


25-28 


253-256 


80-90 


90-95 


Antimony 


- 


- 


0.008 


0.020 


0.006 


Iron 


1.15 


0.32 


- 


- 


[0.3] 


Manganese 


0.09 


-- 


- 


- 


[0.051 



ADEQ Ground Water Quality Standards: secondary standards (derived from EPA Drinking Water Standards) in brackets. 



The samples collected are representative of the mineralization and alteration types found within the 
respective structural zones of the proposed mine site. Consequently, based on the similarity of the test 
results, the geochemical characterization conclusions for the waste rock, mine pit walls and construction 
materials can be discussed together. These general conclusions are: 

♦ the acid generation potential measured within these samples is very low (<0.30 to 1 .1 tons 
CaCO,/kT); 

♦ the net neutralization potential is greater than two CaCO ? /kT; the conservative average of 
the net neutralization potential is approximately eight CaCO,/kT and 

♦ the minimum ANP: AGP ratio for all samples is 2.7 CaC0 3 /kT; 95 percent of the samples 
led an ANP: AGP ratio of three or greater. 

The BLM criteria for non-acid generating materials are an ANP: AGP ratio of three or more and net 
ANP greater than 20 tons CaCO,/kT. The test results do not strictly meet both BLM criteria because of the 
low ANP values for the rocks. However, the samples do not appear to constitute acid-generating materials 
because of the extremely low AGP values. 



D-8 



Batch leach testing conducted on two core samples collected from drill hole YDDH-5 indicate the 
presence of rock with leachable concentrations of antimony above the ADEQ-WQS (Table 4-5). YDDH-5 
core hole logs indicate that samples with elevated concentrations of antimony were collected from 85 and 
95 feet below surface. Samples collected from this area were designated as coming from the ore zone and 
foot wall areas of the pit. They were described as coming from a sericitic alteration zone with high silica 
and iron oxide content, characteristic of the Yarnell Fault zone. Consequently, this material may actually 
represent ore grade material. If this is the case, then rock mined from this zone would be treated as ore and 
placed within the heap. This would preclude the need for mitigating measures because the heap leach is 
being designed as a zero discharge facility and leachate from rock placed within this facility would not 
impact surface and groundwater. Furthermore, the samples represent a very minor fraction of the total waste 
rock under the proposed mine plan, and when the leachate quality from all waste rock materials is considered, 
the water quality that would exit the dumps should not exceed ADEQ-WQS for antimony. 

With regard to exceedances for iron and manganese in the batch leaching extracts, it is important to 
consider that the natural concentrations of iron and manganese in the aquifer exceed the ADEQ-WQS. Many 
rock types commonly release iron and manganese into percolating solutions; the extent to which this occurs 
is dependent upon the Eh-pH condition of the system. For the BCAS aquifer in the proposed projected site, 
iron and manganese concentrations were as great as 8.7 mg/1 and 6.5 mg/1, respectively (Appendix C, Table 
C-3). The maximum concentrations of iron and manganese in the extracts were 1.15 mg/1 and 0.09 mg/1, 
respectively. 



D-9 



APPENDIX E 



WATER RIGHTS 



APPENDIX E 

Surface Water Rights 

Surface water rights and claims are available to the public in a database managed by the 
Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). Table E-2 is a compilation of surface water 
rights and claimed rights within the WRSA. Figure E-l shows the location of each sixteenth of the 
section (40 acres) claimed as a water right or claim. The location identification on the map for each 
right or claim is in the second column of this table. Water rights or claims that are greater than one 
acre-foot/year are shaded, and those greater than 1 acre-feetyyear are shaded and outlined by a bold 
square on the map. 

Since 1919, a person seeking a surface water for public water has been required to file an 
application with the state for a permit to appropriate the water. If granted, the permitee receives a 
certificate of water right (CWR). The application or registration numbers for these water rights are 
filed under the prefixes "33" or "4A." 

The Water Rights Registration Act, enacted in 1974, required most persons claiming surface 
water rights established prior to the effective date of surface water code ( 1919) to file a statement 
of claim. This Act did not provide a process by which to determine the validity of the claims. The 
statements of claim under this Act are filed under the prefix "36." 

Lastly, in 1977, the Legislature enacted the Stockponds Registration Act which provided a 
method for registering those stock ponds built between 1919 and 1977 which do not have a "33" 
application permit or certificate applicable to the pond. The Act applies only to ponds used solely 
for watering livestock or wildlife and with a storage capacity or no more than 15 acre-feet. 
Stockpond claims are filed under the prefix "38." 



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